‘Damage is clear to see,’ says Outwell resident after tractors cause Middle Level banks to ‘crumble’

John Laws from Outwell complaining about the erosion on the river bank caused by heavy and wide trac

John Laws from Outwell complaining about the erosion on the river bank caused by heavy and wide tractors. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

A man from Outwell has been left outraged after he says heavy tractors travelling along the Middle Level have caused the river banks to collapse.

John Laws from Outwell complaining about the erosion on the river bank caused by heavy and wide trac

John Laws from Outwell complaining about the erosion on the river bank caused by heavy and wide tractors. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

John Laws, of Churchfield Drive, is growing increasingly more frustrated after seeing the banks falling into the river Nene due to tractors driving on the river side.

The 75-year-old says he has been in contact with MP for South West Norfolk Elizabeth Truss, to try and rectify the problem, but has heard nothing back.

He said: “I’ve spoken to Elizabeth Truss who was supposed to come and see what’s going on but she didn’t show.

“The Middle Level Byelaws say that vehicles aren’t to be driven on the bank, and these tractors are causing a lot of damage to the bank.

John Laws. Picture: Steve Williams.

John Laws. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant


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“I’ve been going down to the bank for over 50 years and the damage is clear to see.”

However, Middle Level Commissioners chief executive, Iain Smith, says that tractors aren’t causing any stability issues on the banks.

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He said: “The banks are tenanted, so it is the tenants who are driving the tractors along the banks.

“We keep a close eye on all the banks, and they are not crumbling, nor is there any issues with stability. People might see a bit of rutting immediately after the tractors have been along the banks, but it’s fixed straight away.

“We carry out regular inspections all along the Middle Level, and if there were any problems then we’d step in.”

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