Farmers are being called on to help keep Lincolnshire’s roads mud-free as the dark nights draw in and temperatures drop.
Lincolnshire is a rural county heavily reliant on agriculture, and the local authorities sa they accept that farm traffic has to use the roads.
But they added that it was important that the highway was kept in a safe condition for motorists to use.
Lincolnshire County councillor William Webb, executive councillor, 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”.
An NFU spokesman for Lincolnshire said: “We have seen some awful weather this summer and so far this autumn, and this has made harvesting conditions and field work very difficult for our farmers.
“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.”
For tips on how to avoid getting mud on the roads and how to clean it up download the Safe, Clean and Clear leaflet at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/download/20139.