GALLERY: Manea woman keeps 10 tractors waiting as she stages blockade in protest at muddy state of road

Protester Amanda Burrell takes her stand. Picture: Steve Williams.

Protester Amanda Burrell takes her stand. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

A woman fed up of tractors depositing mud on the road outside her home took matters into her own hands this morning ... she staged a blockade.

Ten tractors were queued up along Wimblington Road, in Manea, while Amanda Burrell, after giving police a 30-minute warning, took her stand. Other vehicles were allowed to pass.

Mrs Burrell says tractors are constantly depositing mud from the verge on to the road, making it dangerous for motorists.

Her protest came after a postal worker had a lucky escape yesterday afternoon when his Royal Mail van left the road, smashed through two fences and ended up on the other side of a field.

A fence rail pierced the windscreen on the passenger side of the van but the driver walked away with slight injuries.

The protest lasted for more than 30 minutes before police arrived and Mrs Burrell agreed to let the tractors pass.

Mrs Burrell says she contacted police but she felt they were not taking the issue seriously enough.

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She said: “I rang the Highways Agency and they said it’s not their problem and police didn’t seem to care. I gave the police 30 minutes to speak to me and they didn’t bother.

“At that point I said that’s it. If no-one else is going to do anything I thought I’ll do it and take a stand myself.”

The blockade started at 10.30am - Mrs Burrell walked in front of a tractor and told the driver she would not let him pass and to tell any other tractors to stay back as well.

Heated words were exchanged between Mrs Burrell and Pretoria Lee, project co-ordinator for Pretoria Energy, whose tractors, headed for the anaerobic digester at Mepal, were blocked.

Councillor Pop Jolley, who attended the blockade as a peacemaker, says the village has “had enough” of tractors flying up the road at 50mph with drivers on the phone and depositing material everywhere.

He said: “I don’t condone the blockade but I’m on Amanda’s side. Everybody’s had enough of material blowing out the back of trailers making the road slippery. It’s like a snowstorm behind them.

“The tractors are going at 50mph with the drivers on their phones.”

A Cambs Police spokesman said: “Initial investigations into the crash involving the van suggest mud on the road was not a contributory factor.

“An inspector has been to the road today and spoken to the workers using it. They have put up warning signs and are in the process of cleaning the road this afternoon.

“Apparently, this was already planned and was not in response to this morning’s incident.

“If we come across any mud on the road that could be dangerous and which can be attributed to a farm, we will work with that farm to make sure road users are aware and the road is cleaned.

“We would also urge motorists to drive to the conditions of the road at all times.”

Pretoria Energy has been contacted for a comment.