Safety issue: Cllr John Carroll has called for assistance to allow farmers build underpasses on roads
A Tipperary county councillor has called for measures to assist farmers build underpasses to allow them move cattle safely across roads.
Cllr John Carroll asked at Nenagh Municipal District Council that Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) be asked to assist with technical appraisal and cost reductions when it comes to building underpasses.
“I know it is a planning issue to a small degree but it is a road safety issue,” he said.
Cllr Carroll’s call was backed by Cllr Ger Darcy, who farms at Ardcroney.
“The day is gone when you could have someone walking cattle along the road,” he said.
“Herds, especially dairy herds, are bigger and traffic volumes have increased.”
Cllr Darcy said that, where there were two or three family members on the road flagging down traffic “you are afraid of your life”.
He said that many farmers had built underpasses at their own expense and the costs were “extremely high”.
Cllr Darcy pointed out that, while there were a lot of grants for other issues, none was available to build underpasses as they “fall between all the stools”.
The district cathaoirleach, Cllr Micahel O’Meara, said it was an important issue that should be brought to the full council as farming was a “huge driver” in the county.
He agreed with Cllr Carroll that there should be a focus on the safety issue as it was “totally unfeasible to have huge dairy herds going along the road”.
District manager Marcus O’Connor accepted it was a serious issue and said he would like to see more underpasses being built as the current situation could be “quite dangerous for farmers, the herd and motorists”.
However, he said that an underpass was a structure and was subject to full planning and a road opening licence.
“It has to be done by a chartered structural engineer and it has to be done properly. It is not a simple process,” he said.
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