Farmers offered help in emergencies with free road signs

Farmers in Clwyd are being offered free name signs to place at the entrance to their drives to help emergency services.

The Welsh Assembly has provided the rural development organisation Cadwyn Clwyd with £220,000 for a pilot scheme in rural Denbighshire.

The aim is to encourage residents in rural areas to display clear signs that identify their properties.

The initiative is in response to complaints that fire and ambulance services often find it very difficult to reach incidents in areas where satellite navigation aids are unreliable.

A Cadwyn Clwyd spokeswoman said the assembly grant would fund a media-driven public awareness campaign.

Farmers who want to take advantage of the scheme should contact the organisation and fill in a simple form.

The Welsh Ambulance Trust said arriving quickly at an emergency incident could mean the difference between like and death.

People could help themselves by making it easier to reach them quickly.

Farmers Union of Wales spokeswoman Rhian Nowell-Phillips gave the idea a cautious welcome.

“We have long campaigned for members to have their farms’ Ordinance Survey numbers close to the telephone to guide emergency services,” Ms Nowell-Phillips said.

“However, there are security issues when it comes to putting up roadside signs identifying individual farms.

“We have to accept that there are people around who do not like farmers. This will be especially true where a badger cull is planned.

“While this does not apply in Denbighshire, it could be relevant should this pilot scheme be rolled out in the rest of Wales.

“Members need to make up their own minds about applying for the money currently on offer.”

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