Surface water run-off

Mud and water from adjoining fields should not be allowed to run onto the highway.  If this happens regularly or causes a problem, the occupier of land must take preventative measures.

  • Regularly clean or dredge waterways on your land to ensure water us able to drain freely
  • Check headwalls and grills regularly to ensure they do not become obstructed

The use of field margins, retention of roadside hedges and natural cultivation, and contour ploughing can help to prevent flooding problems.  In particular, avoid furrows running towards gateways and accesses as they tend to channel water towards the highway.

Norfolk Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG) may be able to offer advice.  Contact them on 01603 814869, email advice@norfolkfwag.co.uk or visit www.norfolkfwag.co.uk.

Roadside ditches

Efficient drainage is essential for both farmland and the public highway.  Rural roads rely mainly upon ditches for drainage and keeping them clear is vital if roads are to stay in good condition.

Roadside ditches are presumed at law to be the responsibility of the adjacent landowners.  The owners of land next to the highway have a duty to clear their ditches and drains to prevent them from causing a nuisance to highway users. The Highway Authority has a right of drainage into roadside ditches, which must not be impeded.

  • Take care not to remove soil or turf from the roadside face of a ditch as this may undermine the road
  • When undertaking clearance works, adequate warning needs to be given to other road users

Hedge cutting road sign

Before piping roadside ditches you must obtain consent from:

This is an essential requirement to ensure that the size and gradient of the pipe is adequate for the purpose and that drainage of the road is not affected.  In most cases, culverts/pipes under the road that transfer water from ditch to ditch are the responsibility of the upstream landowner.  This includes maintenance of the pipes.

Crop spraying and water irrigation jets

Sprays must be positioned so that they do not cause run off onto the road resulting in flooding, or reach the road where there may be a danger to road users as well as a nuisance.