Farmers called on to help clean up muddy roads

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Farmers are being asked to help keep the county’s roads mud-free during the busy harvest period.

Lincolnshire County Council is calling on farmers to do their bit, with the combination of weather conditions and heavy farm machinery making muddy roads common at this time of year.

Executive councillor William Webb said: “When farmers are harvesting crops of potatoes, sugar beet, cabbages and other crops, they are taking them from muddy fields onto and across roads to store, and in some cases the roads are getting muddy and dangerous for motorists to use.

“To keep roads safe, clean and clear please try to not put mud on the roads in the first place. If you do leave mud on the road, please clean it during and at the end of the day.

“Farmers should have plant available to clean up roads, and put up warning signs in a safe location before doing so.

“As a former farmer myself I understand what needs to be done. At the same time farmers must be responsible and clean up after themselves.”

Inspector Nigel Key of Lincolnshire Police’s Roads Policing Unit added: “I urge drivers and motorcyclists to drive to seasonal conditions and expect at this time of the year for roads to be more slippery than usual, irrespective of how well farmers clean up after themselves.

“In general, most farmers take this responsibility seriously but road users should bear in mind that Lincolnshire is an extremely rural county and it is inevitable that our roads will get muddy.”

A Lincolnshire NFU spokesman said the poor weather during the summer has made harvesting conditions and field work difficult for farmers.

He added: “However, mud on the road can be a significant safety hazard for all drivers; especially now that the nights are drawing in and the home commute will soon be taking place in the dark.

“The NFU is reminding its members to ensure they clear any mud from public roads outside their field gates, to keep our roads safe.

“Farming delivers quality food and is a huge contributor to our local economy in Lincolnshire, but we have a duty to ensure that no one is put at risk from our work.”