Muddy mess on roads causing huge concern
Waimate Mayor Craig Rowley believes some of the Waimate district's rural roads are in "appalling" condition and are in desperate need of a cleanup.
Rowley, Deputy Mayor Sharyn Cain and Waimate District Council chief executive Tony Alden recently toured the district's rural roading network after council staff were informed of an excessive amount of mud and effluent covering several roads.
"The roads we looked at were definitely in appalling condition ... obviously it's been a shocking year with the amount of rain and a lot of it is because there are farmers coming out of paddocks and going into different paddocks," Rowley said.
He said the worst affected stretch was Gun Tree Flat Rd while Crowes Rd, McLeays Rd and Morven Glenavy Rd were also affected.
"With winter feeds and grazing you've got a lot of tractors dropping off additional feed and moving stock from one area to another. All the mud from that is coming out on to the roads. Cows are up to their knees in mud ... it's terrible."
Grass along roadsides sodden after several downpours is further "exacerbating" the problem, Rowley said.
He hopes to meet up with Federated Farmers representatives to show them and work towards a solution.
"We do have bylaws in relation to dirt and mud on roads, but we don't want to come down with a heavy hand and start imposing penalties on people who have been unable to clean or hose down roads as they should. If we get a heavy frost, all that mud and effluent is going to freeze and turn into a major safety issue."
One idea Rowley suggested would be to shingle gateways to help prevent mud and effluent being spread.
South Canterbury Federated Farmers president Ivon Hurst said there had been more mud and effluent on rural roads recently as a result of gypsy day.
"You would have to expect that in places where greater movement of stock was being done."
He agreed that conditions have been particularly wet this year.
"It's bloody awful at the moment, it's just a quagmire. At this time of year there are some quite difficult conditions."
Hurst is open to working with council on the issue. "Absolutely we would ... we can help find solutions for them."
- The Timaru Herald