Policy to manage Mayo roadside memorials to come before council

A POLICY for managing roadside memorials at accident locations, in the interests of road safety, is to come before a full meeting of Mayo County Council.

It was adopted by the local authority's roads and transportation strategic policy committee (SPC) today, and will now go before the full council for ratification.

Noting that this is a sensitive matter, SPC members were told the policy will not affect existing memorials erected by members of the public.

However, if they become damaged or need replacing, the replacement memorial must comply with the guidelines.

The council will endeavour to balance the wishes of the bereaved with that of public safety.

Under the policy, application must be made to the council before any works commence. No fee applies for processing applications. Sites will be assessed for safety.

A maximum size applies and memorials cannot be illuminated. They are also to be kept free from flowers, ornaments or materials which will give rise to litter over time or cause a distraction to drivers and passers-by.

The policy will be reviewed after two years.

Director of services Tom Gilligan said the council respects the wishes of bereaved families to erect memorials where fatalities have occurred, but they also have an obligation in terms of road safety.

Applications will be considered on a case by case basis.

Similar policies have been adopted by other local authorities and it was felt it was best practice going forward, recognising it is an emotive and sensitive matter.

Head of roads Paul Dolan said they were trying to facilitate bereaved families and enhancing safety at the same time, and this gave them a structured approach.

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