Farming and the highway

We recognise the importance of farming to the local economy and want to work with the sector to make sure the highway is used responsibly. Some agricultural use of the highway can result in problems that result in complaints from other road users.

Denbighshire County Council is the Highway Authority for County Roads. We are legally responsible for looking after the rights of all road users including drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and horse-riders. The North and Mid Wales Trunk Road Agent (external website) manages the A55, A5 and A494 trunk roads.

Under the Highways Act 1980 (external website) and other legislation, we can require anything that causes a nuisance or obstruction to be removed in a reasonable period of time or immediately if it causes a danger. If our request is ignored, we have the power to take action ourselves and recover any costs from those responsible.

While there may be occasions where we have no choice but to take appropriate action, we always want to work with the community to get the best result for everyone. The headings below describe common situations and what is expected in each case.

Mud on the road

Mud can build up on the road from some farming activity and moving livestock, which can be an inconvenience or even a danger to the public. The farmer is responsible for preventing this build-up through prompt and regular cleaning of the affected roads and footpaths. Failure to do so is an offence under the Highways Act 1980 (external website).

To keep mud on the highway to a minimum, farmers and contractors should be aware that:

  • all loads must be secured correctly and vehicles should not be overloaded
  • vehicles should be checked before joining the highway and any excess mud removed
  • all excess mud deposited on the highway needs to be removed as soon as possible
  • mud and surface water run-off should be prevented where possible (a hard standing area between the highway and vegetation should help)

Report a hazard on the road

Hedge maintenance

Find out about maintaining hedges, hedgerows and trees that border the public highway.


Herding of animals on the public highway should be undertaken safely and any resulting mud or dung should be removed as soon as possible.

Agricultural vehicles

Vehicles must be suitable for the road and the width must comply with current regulations. Avoid main roads during peak times and help other traffic to pass safely by pulling into lay-bys and passing places when necessary.

Report a road traffic safety issue

Ditches and drains

In most locations, the owner of land next to the highway is responsible for helping to maintain it by ensuring good drainage. Please keep the following in mind:

  • pipes should not be laid in ditches without consulting with and getting approval from Denbighshire County Council
  • grills, head walls, catch-pits and other drainage features should be cleared regularly, especially in the autumn season
  • the depth of the ditch should be maintained to ensure the efficiency of the drainage system

Report a problem with a manhole, gully or culvert


Please ensure the safety of pedestrians and traffic when working on the highway by remembering the following:

  • make sure the correct signage, guarding and beacons are used and clearly visible on every approach to the affected area
  • remove signage at the end of each working day and once works have been completed
  • wear protective clothing (for example, high visibility) while undertaking any works
  • be mindful of existing signage and if any are knocked or moved, ensure they’re put back properly right away

Report a problem with a traffic sign or marking