Mayglothling Waste
Mayglothling Waste

Mud on the road – What are your legal obligations?

Autumn weather, combined with seasonal farm vehicle activity means an increase in the amount of mud being left on the road. 

Three road accidents in Herefordshire caused by mud on the road this time last year, prompted the NFU to release a briefing, reminding Farmers (and other vehicle operatives such as construction companies) of their legal obligations. 

Here’s our summary which outlines the key legislation involved as well as advice on keeping compliant;

While there is a range of powers available to the police and highways department, the primary powers fall under the Highways Act 1980:

  • Section 148 of the Highways Act 1980 makes it an offence to deposit mud etc. on the highway that would interrupt other users of the highway.
  • Section 149 of the Highways Act 1980 gives the highways authority the power to clean the road and recover its expenses from the person causing the obstruction.
  • Section 161 Highways Act 1980 “If a person, without lawful authority or excuse, deposits anything whatsoever on a highway in consequence of which a user of the highway is injured or endangered, that person is guilty of an offence”. Contravention of sections 148 and 162 can lead to a Level 3 fine of £1000 in the magistrate’s court. Civil action may also be a possibility where the mud contributes to a personal injury, damage to property, or any loss or inconvenience. The presence of mud can constitute a public nuisance and loss or injury can result in a claim for negligence.

What you should do

  • Be prepared to hire in equipment – check availability in advance by calling us on 0800 0519345.
  • Keep to your own farm roads and minor roads whenever possible.
  • Keep to low speeds – especially when travelling a short distance – to help retain mud on the vehicle.
  • Record your decisions in writing whether or not you deployed signs and/or cleaned the road.

What you must do

  • Do everything possible to prevent mud being deposited on the road. This includes cleaning mud from vehicles, as far as practicable, before they are taken onto the road. (does our sweeper have a jet wash)
  • If there is a danger of mud being accidentally deposited on roads, use ‘Slippery Road’ signs with a ‘Mud on Road’ subplate to alert other road users. Check with your local highways authority their requirements for warning signs at the side of the road.
  • Clean the road as necessary during the working day and always at the end of the working day.
  • Ensure that labour and equipment is available and is suitable for the soil and weather conditions present.
  • Where a contractor is used, ensure that prior agreement is reached on who is responsible for mud on-road issues (signage, cleaning, etc.) and ensure that adequate public liability insurance is in place. (Ask Chris if we have mud on road signs)

Book a road sweeper for your site by calling us on 0800 051 9345 or by contacting us through our website;

Further Information

Highways Act 1980 Traffic Regulation Act

Road Traffic Act 1988

Highway Code


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