Calls for a national fund to survey ‘dangerous’ roadside trees to be established

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, has been called upon to establish a national fund to survey dangerous roadside trees and hedges.

Fianna Fail TD for the Sligo-Leitrim constituency Eamon Scanlon believes that this fund needs to be established as a matter of public safety.

Speaking to AgriLand, he outlined that this fund could reduce the possibility of trees falling onto a public road during a storm and – in turn – reduce the chances of someone getting injured or even killed.

“Something needs to be done,” he said.

Responding to a recent parliamentary question from deputy Scanlon, Minister Ross stated that the improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is a statutory function of each road authority in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993.

Continuing, he said: “Works on regional and local roads are funded by local authorities’ own resources supplemented by state grants. Within the overall resources available to it, the selection and prioritisation of works is a matter for each local authority.

Section 70 of the Roads Act 1993 sets out the responsibility of landowners to take all reasonable steps to ensure that trees, hedges and other vegetation growing on their land are not – or could not become – a danger to people using a public road or interfere with the safe use of a public road or the maintenance of a public road.

“A local authority can serve notice requiring a landowner to take action to address a hazard.

“This section also allows the relevant road authority to step in where a landowner fails or is unable to take action to remedy a hazard and to seek recovery of reasonable costs from the landowner. This is, therefore, a matter for management between the landowner and the relevant local authority,” the minister said.