A pothole or two is not an uncommon sight on Wollondilly's rural roads - and apparently neither are stray cows.
Wollondilly Council can receive reports of cows, horses, sheep and goats on rural roads throughout the shire almost daily.
Wollongong resident Ben Chenoweth was driving home from work this week along Appin Road when he came across a brown juvenile cow on the side of the road.
“A car on the other side of the road flashed me and I thought there would be cops up ahead but then I saw a cow moving onto the road,” he said.
“I had to merge into the right hand lane quickly. As I passed, I saw a car reverse out of a driveway to block oncoming traffic so it could be herded back into the paddock. Luckily the incident happened in an overtaking lane.
“It was an interesting experience because I have never seen a cow on the road. I have only seen a live koala and echidna and other dead animals.”
Wollondilly Council’s compliance and administration manager Robyn Cooper said moving cows off the road was the job of the council’s animal control officer or rangers.
“The council’s main priority is to remove livestock from the road, to ensure public safety,” she said.
“If the council rangers can locate the property the livestock belongs to and find that the fencing is inadequate, then they can notify and serve a notice to the property owner to repair fencing so that it meets the adequate standard for livestock.
“It is the owner’s responsibility to keep the livestock contained in their property.”
Ms Cooper said the council received calls from most rural areas in the shire but not usually in the main streets of towns and villages.
“Occasionally we have had calls regarding livestock on the freeway,” she said.
The Camden police respond to calls of livestock on the roads once a week, usually at night when it is out of council hours.
Crime manager Jayne Doherty said the highway patrol officers occasionally responded to feral goats on the highway and the Roads and Maritime Service sometimes helped trap and relocate the livestock.
“Last week police officers herded cows back into their paddock and there was also ponies on the road – they were both traffic hazards,” she said.
Detective Inspector Doherty said police made sure the roads were safe by closing off the roads and they would herd the cows off the road.
She said it was not always the owners fault when livestock got out of their paddocks because fences could be broken by the animal or roadwork could loosen the fence.
Detective Inspector Doherty said the livestock could cause serious damage to cars and reminded motorists to slow down and pay attention on rural roads in particular.
The Oaks resident Marina Barrett was one unlucky resident to hit a cow on Burragorang Road at Camden when driving home last month. The impact did serious damage to her car.
“Drivers have to be cautious of livestock on the road because you don’t expect it when you are driving,” she said. “I have only since a cow twice since moving to The Oaks.”