Republican News · Thursday 18 January 2001

[An Phoblacht]

Pay farmers to grit roads

West Tyrone Sinn Féin Assembly member Barry McElduff has proposed an innovative road gritting scheme for farmers.

``The situation rural communities faced over the Christmas period highlighted the serious failings of the Roads Service in dealing with adverse weather conditions in rural communities. It also highlighted the need for fresh innovative thinking.

``I would propose a road gritting scheme where farmers are paid to take responsibility for gritting a local network of roads. Such a scheme would not just benefit rural communities but also farmers - directly supplementing incomes and also enabling them to carry out vital work on their farms during bad weather conditions.

``The Roads Service needs to enter into discussion with farming organisations to look at the viability of such a scheme and I would also call on the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Department of Regional Development to begin interdepartmental negotiations on implementing such a scheme.''

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