Cuts mean a cut in cuts

Cutting cut

Cutting cut

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Hedge-cutting has been hit by government cutbacks.

The Department of Infrastructure says the since most hedges bordering the highway belong to the landowner and it is their responsibility to ensure that these do not obstruct users of the highway.

A DoI spokesman said: ‘Where owners are not undertaking the necessary work the department will continue to undertake cutting to ensure that the basic safety of the highway is maintained.

‘This includes removing growth where it is obstructing the highway or obstructing sight lines or signage.

‘The department may re-charge land owners for undertaking this work.’

On the plus-side, the deparment said there were some environmental benefits in reducing the cuts which allowed hedgerows to take on a more natural look, to flower and also enabling wildlife to flourish.

The spokesman added: ‘The department no longer has sufficient budgets to proactively remove weeds across the island.

‘However, it has been rolling out a programme of systemic weed killer spraying in towns and villages and along main roads and in Douglas, Castletown, Peel and Onchan it has entered into agency agreements to work through the local authority to undertake that work.

‘It would be of assistance if householders and businesses could remove weeds from outside their own properties where they are physically able and it is safe to do so.

Leonard Singer, the MHK with responsibility for highways in the department, said: ‘We have to recognise that there is simply less money available for some services and the department has faced tough choices in prioritising its expenditure.

‘In this case, while less work will be done, there are environmental benefits to wildlife.’

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