No plans to grant aid underpasses says Creed despite huge costs
The Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed has said he has no plans to provide farmers grants to install underpasses.
Fianna Fail, Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minster recently if he will include eligibility under TAMS for the erection of underpasses to improve safety for farmers due to the increase in herd sizes and increase in traffic.
The construction of underpasses is not currently available under the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme suite of measures.
Minister Creed said the introduction of such a measure would require a formal amendment to Ireland’s Rural Development Programme for 2014 – 2020 and approval by the EU Commission and said he has no plans to introduce this measure at this time.
A former minister has described the cost of installing underpasses to improve road safety “a crisis situation”.
Ned O’Keeffe told the ICMSA AGM at Limerick that farmers face costs of up to €60,000 for an underpass because of the “restrictions and bureaucracy”.
He was responding to a motion from ICMSA executives in Carlow and Macroom that underpasses should be grant aided under TAMS and that the planning system should promote rather than hinder their use in the interest of farm and road safety.
Mr O’Keeffe described the situation as “ludicrous” where farmers faced “almost insurmountable difficulties” with the NRA and the local authorities, despite the improvement it would achieve for the safety of both road users, the farmer and animal safety.