Farm and construction drivers urged to keep roads mud-free

Drivers of farm and construction vehicles are being urged to play their part in helping to keep North Yorkshire’s highways safe by avoiding leaving mud on roads.

Members of the public have been contacting North Yorkshire Council to report muddy roads, and the council is calling on drivers of agricultural and construction vehicles to be responsible when using public routes, for the benefit of all users.

North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for highways and transportation, Cllr Keane Duncan, said: “We understand that this is a busy time in the farming calendar, and that this year the prolonged period of rain is likely to have made conditions worse than usual.

“However, that makes it more important than ever that if farmers or construction vehicle drivers do need to use public roads, they take their responsibilities seriously. Doing all they can to ensure mud is not left on our roads not only helps to keep other road users safe, but also protects those drivers from the risk of legal action.

“Most do act responsibly, but there are some that break the law. If mud on the road results in injury, damage to property, loss or inconvenience, legal action can follow, with penalties ranging from fines to imprisonment.”

Farmers or construction vehicle operators must:

  • Keep to their own farm roads whenever possible.
  • Keep to low speeds and prevent mud from being deposited by removing any excess before driving on to roads.
  • Be prepared to hire equipment to promptly remove deposits.
  • Use authorised signs prominently positioned for road users to see.
  • Clean the road as necessary during the working day and always at the end.
  • Ensure that equipment and labour is available and is suitable for the soil and weather conditions.
  • When using a contractor, ensure agreement is reached beforehand on who is responsible for mud on the road (signs, cleaning etc) and that suitable public liability insurance is in place.

To report mud on the road, visit


  1. Simple solution with an employment and a Revenue Stream attached, send in a sub contract Road Cleaning Crew and charge the culprits, Do Agricultural Vehicles pay Road Tax for the use of the Highways? If not they should, they cause more damage to the road surface due to their size & weight and have little regard for the mess they make!

  2. Farmers and builders seem to think that putting a sign up warning of mud on the road means that they have no responsibility to keep the roads clean . They don’t realise they are effectively making skid pans .

  3. It was wise of Cllr Keane Duncan to advise those who may be responsible for leading mud and debris onto the pubic highway that unless that they make proper provision to clean up after them, they could face legal proceedings. It would also be reasonable for those who advice construction or agricultural contractors that it is an offence under section 161 of the 1980 Highways Act to violate the current legislation. Also Insurance companies, Land Agents, together with financial and legal advisers could be negligent if they did not warn clients of the real cost of legal action or a claim for negligence if their client was found to be responsible for an accident that caused serious harm to other road users or even loss of life or future income because of the material which they left on the road surface, especially after freezing of mud and standing water.
    The cost to the tax payer following a road accident is also considerable including emergency services, medical and hospital services, together with welfare costs and legal proceedings. The first warning of mud on the highway could also be from the friends and neighbours of those concerned, which would save everyone in further cost to the community and possible loss of life, and allow those responsible to make urgent plans to clean up after them.

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