MP backs council’s calls for safety improvements on A142

The A142 closed following an accident near Mepal, earlier this year.

The A142 closed following an accident near Mepal, earlier this year. - Credit: Archant

NE Cambs MP Steve Barclay has lent his voice to calls for road safety improvements along the A142 following three accidents in a week.

Witcham Parish Council’s clerk, Susan Bell wrote to the MP following a recent council meeting, seeking his support to secure safety measures along the A142, between Chatteris and Mepal.

Mrs Bell said parish councillors were “deeply concerned about the mud and maize on the road” which was creating a greasy road surface and constant dirty windscreens for motorists.

Mrs Bell wrote: “Last year we had the same problem and despite best efforts by the contractors to sweep and swill the road, conditions were frequently atrocious.

“Councillors report that our local drivers are complaining about convoys of up to eight, or even more, agricultural vehicles and plant on the A142 anywhere between Ely and Chatteris, and this is causing frustration for other road users.

“We are advised that these agricultural vehicles and plant are being used to haul maize from a wide surrounding area to the local maize digesters.”

Mr Barclay said he had asked police to monitor the condition of the A142 at harvest time to ensure drivers were not being put at risk.

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He said: “I am aware of the problems caused on local roads from harvesting maize and have asked the police to monitor unnecessary levels of mud which can be a risk to motorists.

“We are a farming area and with the economic benefits agriculture brings to the Fens some challenges will arise, and I welcome the steps the NFU is taking to minimise this.

“It is often contractors and not farmers who are responsible for the mud on the roads and the police have written to me to confirm they are aware of the public concerns on this issue and will monitor it closely in the weeks ahead.

NFU Cambridgeshire county chairman Bob Lawrence said it was essential that farmers took steps to minimise the impact of mud on the road and said that the NFU and its members were working with the police and councils.