BY SEÁN P. FEENY
IS YOUR view being inhibited by overgrowing grass or hedges at a junction near you? Then it’s not the county council you should be getting on to, it’s the landowners.
Overgrown hedges, shrubs and trees along public roads can become a danger to people using or working on a public road.
Under the Roads Act it is the duty of landowners to maintain hedges and vegetation on their land (which in many cases includes the road) to ensure that they are not a hazard.
A spokesperson for Donegal County Council thanked the many landowners who do so, but also took the opportunity to remind others of their responsibilities.
“The council provides a maximum of 10 per cent of its roads’ general maintenance budget for verge maintenance which includes some grass cutting for vision lines for safety at some junctions (the amount varies between areas dependant on priorities and needs identified).”
The council does not operate a routine inspection system for checking all junctions across the county’s 6500km network as they ‘simply do not have the resources to do this’.
“We do, however, respond on a prioritised basis to sections where a safety issue is identified by our staff or brought to our attention by the general public.
“If any member of the public has an issue in relation to this we would ask them to contact the Council at 074 91 53900,” the spokesperson said.
Under its policy the council endeavors to ensure that the owner or occupier of land shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that a tree, shrub, hedge or other vegetation on the land is not a hazard or potential hazard to persons using a public road and that it does not obstruct or interfere with the safe use of a public road or the maintenance of a public road.