Appeal for coucils to think about farmers over road works

Road authorities are being asked to consider their ongoing programme of road works so not to adversely impact on harvest time.

Road closed.
Road closed.

CLA East, which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses, says it has already received calls from members worried about repairs and closures taking place during this busy period.

Regional surveyor Tim Woodward said: “We’ve been regularly liaising with county councils across the region to ensure they are aware of the disruption road works on specific routes can cause farmers during the annual harvest and post-harvest cultivations.

“Councils often schedule road works at this time of year so as not to affect school bus services and make the most of favourable weather. However, this does not take into account the serious disruption caused to rural businesses at what is the busiest period in the farming year.

“Harvest can be an extremely stressful period and the addition of road works is a complication farmers could do without. They need unrestricted road access for the passage of agricultural vehicles.

“The work is almost continuous during daylight hours to take maximum advantage of suitable weather windows and to keep both combine harvester and grain dryer working efficiently and at full capacity.

“Diversions mean additional mileage added to multiple trips to and from fields each and every day, taking up valuable time and adding costs that could easily run into thousands.”

The organisations want councils to consider the needs of farmers by keeping road works to a minimum at this time of the year and where there is a need to proceed with repairs that ‘sympathetic’ scheduling is put in place.