Police remind drivers, farmers and contractors in region of their responsibilities after reports of mud on roads

Police have reminded motorists and farmers about their need to share the highways after receiving reports of mud on roads in the Shropshire region.

Picture: West Mercia Police
Picture: West Mercia Police

West Mercia Police has issued a reminder of the obligations of all those that use agricultural machinery and given advice for other road users on how to deal with the slippery problem.

There have also been a number of recent reports made to Shropshire Council on the FixMy Street of problems of mud, grit and gravel on the roads around Condover, Prees and Chelmarsh.

West Mercia PC Dee Stanley said: "Anyone using the rural road network in our region should appreciate that we do live in a rural area and as such this means sharing the highway with numerous types of agricultural vehicles."

They ask drivers to take extra care and exercise patience at any time of the year, but especially during the spring and towards the end of the summer at harvest time.

PC Stanley said: "Agriculture is one of our region’s major industries and the use of public roads by agricultural machinery is a necessity for many in the industry.

"The road network is of fundamental importance to this industry but farming activity can have a significant effect on the flow and appearance of our rural roads."

PC Stanley said excess mud or debris an cause a danger to cars, motorbikes and cyclists. It can also cause localised flooding on the highway/blocked drains.

"It is an offence under the Highways Act 1980 to allow mud or debris from adjacent land to fall, be washed or carried onto a public road and can lead to prosecution."

PC Stanley advised people working in agriculture to "programme and organise your work to deal with the problem before it occurs by cleaning mud from vehicles before they enter the highway, this will also include 4x4’s, gators and quad bikes.

"On some occasions if this can’t be avoided it is a farmer or contractor’s duty to ensure this is cleaned. In this case it is important to inform the local highway authority to seek advice."

PC Stanley added: "As with other vehicles on the public highway all tractors and equipment should always be in a good state of repair and in a roadworthy condition.

"Each tractor or equipment must have the proper lighting to be driven on a public road and should be used in dusk or in times of poor visibility. When towing, make sure that the towing eye on the trailer is not excessively worn and that the tractor hitch lock is locked into place.

"Drivers of slow moving vehicles should always be aware of the build-up of traffic behind them and, when convenient and safe, pull over to allow traffic to pass. This avoids motorists taking unnecessary risks. Drivers of these vehicles are also reminded that weight limits on roads also apply to agricultural vehicles, not just goods vehicles."

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