Dirty roads need cleanup

Last updated 05:00 16/07/2014

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The wheels are in motion to stop farmers dragging mud onto South Canterbury roads.

District councils in South Canterbury are working with farmers to keep roads safe and mud free.

The problem arises when farm vehicles working in paddocks during wet conditions become caked with mud which is then dropped on public roads.

Early rains and the change of farming activity in the winter meant it was particularly bad this year.

Waimate District Council roading asset manager Rob Moffat said there were 20 areas in Waimate affected by extreme dumping of mud.

"It is damaging the road in the longer term, damaging the drainage - and the mud [on the roads] is hazardous to the public."

He said it was an ongoing problem that may not be completely resolved, but the council was working with Federated Farmers and road safety co-ordinator Daniel Naude to come up with guidelines of how farmers could prevent it happening.

Roads around the Levels area near Timaru also had the same problem.

Timaru District Council land transport manager Andrew Dixon said it was about working with farmers, not against them.

He said it was a fairly common problem at this time of year but roads needed to be safe.

In a message to its members, South Canterbury Federated Farmers said it had spoken to district council roading engineers and police representatives.

The council, through its bylaws, or the police, through traffic regulations, could issue infringement notices for "the depositing of a substance on the road that could endanger other road users".

It said neither organisation, recognising the problems faced by farmers this year in regards to wet conditions, wanted to start issuing infringement notices.

Some suggestions to combat the problem from Federated Farmers in conjunction with the councils, were the physical removal of the material on the road by the farmers responsible, or, if they were unable to clear it, a council contractor could be arranged to clean the affected area and provide road warning signs.

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- The Timaru Herald

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