Tyrone turf war over uncut verges

Overgrown grass verges in Mid Ulster
Overgrown grass verges in Mid Ulster

A turf war has broken out over dangerous and overgrown grass verges in the Dungannon area amid fears of road accidents.

Residents and motorists have complained about weeds growing several feet high along road bends in the local area, as well as unsightly entrances to villages.

In previous years, Roads Service reimbursed Dungannon and Cookstown Councils to the tune of £29,000 for cutting back grass verges on local roads.

However, because of severe budget pressures, Minister of Regional Development Danny Kennedy has said his department was no longer in a position to pay the councils for their services.

DUP Councillor Clement Cuthbertson warned that the Mid Ulster Council was having to review its grass cutting operations in light of the budget reduction.

“It is time Transport NI got their act together and stopped putting lives at risk by their lack of grass cutting, particularly on rural roads and sight-lines at junctions”, he said.

“This problem needs urgently addressed. Also, Transport NI need to step up and provide payment to MUDC to enable the entrances to all our villages to be kept in a respectable state. Transport NI have so far reneged on the annual payment to Council, which was in the region of £29k.

“This is leaving Council Grounds Maintenance stretched as they attempt to maintain the high level of service Rate Payers are accustomed to.

“I will be pushing for no reduction in this service.”