August 23 2014 Latest news:
Friday, January 10, 2014
Police in Ely have vowed to take tougher action against farmers who fail to clear mud off public roads – with officers prepared to take landowners to court.
Officers said they had experienced an increase in the number of calls from the public during the winter regarding mud left on the roads and had also received dozens of reports via social media.
Ely policeman Sgt Will Davis said he had been advised that the increase was down to “the local production of maize and other crops used for bio fuels” which had seen fields in use far later in the year than normal.
Sgt Davis said: “This Winter, I have noticed an increase in the number of calls we are attending relating to reports of excessive mud on the roads.
“I have since been advised that the increase in the local production of maize and other crops used for bio fuels has resulted in the fields being used later into the year during the wet weather.
“To bolster the work that is already being done and as a result of recent communications from the community, the Ely safer neighbourhood policing team and the highways department will now be working together to address this matter.”
Such has been the concern regarding the state of rural roads across East Cambridgeshire this winter that Littleport resident Graeme Wigglesworth launched a petition with the Department for Transport and attracted more than 200 signatures.
Sgt Davis said police and highways officials would be visiting all the farms in East Cambridgeshire over the coming weeks and months to remind farmers of their obligation to keep the highway clear of mud.
He added: “It is hoped that by carrying out this preventative work, we can avoid prosecutions, however, both agencies are prepared to take cases to court where there is a breach in the law and road safety is compromised.”