FARMERS and construction vehicle drivers are being urged to think responsibly about keeping the roads clear of mud after a spike in reports in North Yorkshire.

The county council has received reports of muddy roads and is reminding those who deposit the mud that they are potentially liable for a range of offences.

The Highways Act 1980 says: “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.”

Cllr Don Mackenzie, executive member for highways, said: “Every year we face problems with mud and other debris deposited on our roads.

"We recognise that most farmers and operators of construction vehicles act responsibly, but unfortunately there are some that break the law.

"As the highways authority, the county council has a duty to ensure the roads are in a safe condition for all drivers.

“We would like to remind farmers and contractors of their responsibilities under the Highways Act. If mud results in personal injury, damage to property, loss or inconvenience, civil action can occur. It can constitute a public nuisance and loss or injury can result in a claim for negligence.”