NFU Scotland joins Aberdeenshire Council in calling for mud to be removed from the region’s roads

With summer just a distant memory and the tattie holidays in full swing, farmers and other heavy plant operators are again working flat out in all weathers across Aberdeenshire.

By Dawn Renton
Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 9:14 am
Farming activities can lead to mud being deposited on the road, creating a serious hazards for motorists
Farming activities can lead to mud being deposited on the road, creating a serious hazards for motorists

Whether it’s veg harvesting or ploughing, planting or muck-spreading there’s still lots going on across the region.

However with those operations, comes the issue of mud being left on North-east roads which can cause serious hazards for motorists by creating a slippery road surface.

The Aberdeenshire farming community do take their responsibilities very seriously and we do appreciate moving from field to field, or off-road to on-road inevitably leads to mud being deposited on the road.

But any driver or operator must clean up and remove any mud on the road as soon as they reasonably can - not doing so is an offence under the Roads (Scotland) Act.

Putting out warning signs about mud on the road is also very good practice, but it does not excuse mud being left on the road for hours or days or remove liability in the event of an incident.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Head of Roads, Philip McKay, said: “We fully appreciate that most farmers and commercial operators take steps to ensure any mud being taken onto our road network is cleaned up as quickly as possible.

"But we continue to get reports of incidents where that course of action is not being undertaken.

“I would encourage all drivers and operators to do everything possible to prevent mud being deposited on our roads, preferably cleaning mud from vehicles – as far as that’s possible to do – before they are taken onto the road.”

Jamie Smart, the National Farmers' Union Scotland’s Transport Advisor, said: “It is illegal to deposit mud on a public road, and any farmer or contractor should clear any such mud as soon as reasonably possible.

“Where operations are likely to cause mud to be deposited a plan to clear the road must be put into place, including warning signage and using the appropriate machinery.”

He added: "If contractors are being used it is important to agree in advance who is responsible for putting these measures in place.”