Are unclassified roads getting much muddier

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DaveGos
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Are unclassified roads getting much muddier

Postby DaveGos » 18 Jan 2016, 2:54pm

I normally do most of my cycling on unclassified roads in Shropshire , I do use mudguards. Last week due to ice I decided to mainly use B roads (salted) and the ride was a lot more pleasant . As well as the terrible surfaces on lanes, it strikes me that with larger vehicles from School Buses to Fuel tankers , more home deliveries , massive tractors and other farm vehicles and 4 wheel drive cars , the vehicles are ploughing up the road verges a lot more causing a lot more thick mud on the road

beardy
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Re: Are unclassified roads getting much muddier

Postby beardy » 18 Jan 2016, 2:57pm

The mud at the moment is mostly due to the ground being waterlogged, you cant even walk on grass at the moment without it being churned into mud.

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mjr
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Re: Are unclassified roads getting much muddier

Postby mjr » 18 Jan 2016, 3:23pm

Yes, they're getting muddier. Everyone's cutting costs such as washing mud from the public roads and there are too few county highways officers to make them, so expect it to get worse until we get a high-profile case of mud-sliding crash victims' insurers going after farms/quarries/etc that haven't washed the roads.
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AlaninWales
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Re: Are unclassified roads getting much muddier

Postby AlaninWales » 19 Jan 2016, 9:34am

Many unclassified roads are tracks between fields. most of these have never been 'built' as roads, simply having tarmac laid down over the dirt track decades ago, filled in occasionally since. Since the track was worn down in the past and now at least is not subject to build up of leaf detritus remaining year after year (the vehicles wear it away), the fields are often higher than the road surface. in the current conditions, this means the semi-liquid waterlogged soil is washed out of any gap or gate, onto the road surface. This happens with any heavy rain, because the soil has become waterlogged; there is little to nothing the farmers can do about it. The lanes essentially become rivers, carrying mud from the fields and down their slopes. Rather than a conspiracy against cyclists by farmers, it is nature in action, wearing stuff down.

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Re: Are unclassified roads getting much muddier

Postby eileithyia » 19 Jan 2016, 9:39am

Back in the late 80's having mid-week days off, a friend and i sometimes headed out to a hostel and somewhere where we could cycle in a different area..... Shropshire being favoured...... OH the delights of riding on Shropshire lanes in winter.......

As said above very wet fields, farm vehicles driving off the fields = lots of mud.... it is the same in Cheshire.....
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ChrisButch
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Re: Are unclassified roads getting much muddier

Postby ChrisButch » 19 Jan 2016, 9:54am

This is down to massive cuts in local authority highway maintenance budgets. Gulleys and drains are cleared much less often, if at all, and the old system of the 'parish lengthsman' who was responsible for keeping particular stretches of road in order has disappeared. 'Verge ploughing' of sunken lanes has stopped. Devon County Council (which has the greatest challenge in the number of miles of unclassified road) has had its budgets cut so severely that it's had virtually to abandon many roads except for emergency repairs. But changes in agricultural practice have also added to the problem - for instance the recent dominance of maize as a fodder crop is resulting in a lot of soil erosion and wash-off from the fields: and keeping stock out in the fields all year rather than housed during these milder winters means much more winter tractor traffic.

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Mick F
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Re: Are unclassified roads getting much muddier

Postby Mick F » 19 Jan 2016, 2:49pm

ChrisButch wrote:This is down to massive cuts in local authority highway maintenance budgets. Gulleys and drains are cleared much less often, if at all, and the old system of the 'parish lengthsman' who was responsible for keeping particular stretches of road in order has disappeared. 'Verge ploughing' of sunken lanes has stopped. Devon County Council (which has the greatest challenge in the number of miles of unclassified road) has had its budgets cut so severely that it's had virtually to abandon many roads except for emergency repairs. But changes in agricultural practice have also added to the problem - for instance the recent dominance of maize as a fodder crop is resulting in a lot of soil erosion and wash-off from the fields: and keeping stock out in the fields all year rather than housed during these milder winters means much more winter tractor traffic.

+1

Totally agree.
Some of the minor roads are a disgrace nowadays.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Paulatic
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Re: Are unclassified roads getting much muddier

Postby Paulatic » 19 Jan 2016, 3:07pm

Fifty year ago driving onto a grass verge was frowned upon. Now it's an everyday event.
Fifty year ago there were no 4x4 tractors in exceptionally wet times as of recent you couldn't have got onto the fields and off again. You had to wait for drier conditions.
There were also no phones distracting drivers, I'm sure a lot of the deep ruts seen just on the side of the Tarmac are caused by running off the road while looking at a text.
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AlaninWales
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Re: Are unclassified roads getting much muddier

Postby AlaninWales » 19 Jan 2016, 4:17pm

Paulatic wrote:Fifty year ago driving onto a grass verge was frowned upon. Now it's an everyday event.
Fifty year ago there were no 4x4 tractors in exceptionally wet times as of recent you couldn't have got onto the fields and off again. You had to wait for drier conditions.
There were also no phones distracting drivers, I'm sure a lot of the deep ruts seen just on the side of the Tarmac are caused by running off the road while looking at a text.

4x4 tractors started to become available for small farmers as war surplus GP vehicles (jeeps) a little over 50 years ago. 4x4 recreational vehicles also started out from these, admittedly were less prevalent than now. However a lot of the wash-off of mud onto roads is not caused (around here at least) by vehicles, but by the fact that gates and gaps in downhill corners allow mud to wash off the fields onto the lower roads. Whilst less ditch digging may increase this effect, it would always have happened in heavy rain once the soil is waterlogged.

I suspect that 50 years ago there would have been many fewer living in the countryside without experience of/ relatives involved in agriculture and that the mud was just as prevalent in similar conditions then, just less moaned about by people conditioned to 'clean' urban environments and roads.

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Mick F
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Re: Are unclassified roads getting much muddier

Postby Mick F » 19 Jan 2016, 4:39pm

Some of us have lived in the same place and used the same roads for 30+years ............and even the lane on which we live has seen terrible deterioration.

They ain't cleaning the roads, they ain't maintaining the roads, and they ain't clearing out ditches and drainage.
They used to, but they ain't now.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Re: Are unclassified roads getting much muddier

Postby MikeF » 19 Jan 2016, 5:59pm

And council tax hasn't increased for 6 years. Why the complaints??
Rail fares have an inflation busting annual increase.
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Paulatic
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Re: Are unclassified roads getting much muddier

Postby Paulatic » 19 Jan 2016, 6:14pm

There were indeed 4x4 tractors 50yrs ago but they weren't very common were they?
When tractors did come out of a field the mud was carried by something like a 10" wide tyre. The norm for tyres now must be double that.
Perhaps the biggest difference is that in those days when you went to the pub at night you'd have taken a hell of a ribbing for leaving a mess on the road. If it were still there the next day you'd probably get a visit from the village Bobby too.
I still remember the 'lengthsman' made his living from milking 12 cows and looking after a section of road between 2 villages.
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Mick F
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Re: Are unclassified roads getting much muddier

Postby Mick F » 20 Jan 2016, 8:19am

MikeF wrote:And council tax hasn't increased for 6 years.
Ours has.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Graham
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Re: Are unclassified roads getting much muddier

Postby Graham » 20 Jan 2016, 9:16am

I've never had to do this before . . . Longboards AND DPC

Longboards give better protection, but this year the lanes are muckier than ever.

I have augmented the guards with some Damp-Proof Course.

MudguardExtraFront.jpg

MudguardExtraBack.jpg

fbs
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Re: Are unclassified roads getting much muddier

Postby fbs » 23 Jan 2016, 9:09pm

As a Mid Wales denizen and sometime Shropshire rider living on the borders I just accept it is muddy. Road maintenance etc is at an all time low, potholes and poor verges are a bigger worry than mud to me. We live in the country with fields, trees, sheep and farms, It is winter, it gets wet and muddy, it has been like this in the 25 years I have lived here (and in my 30 year rural Herefordshire youth before that). The rurality is the reason I live in this part of the world and enjoy it. Mudguards and flaps, ski or ex army gaiters are your friends, just hose your kit and the bike down after rides.