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Brazen drivers cut across field to dodge 11-mile diversion

PUBLISHED: 15:25 09 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:46 10 August 2018

A driver taking a shortcut across a field in an attempt to avoid an 11-mile diversion in Lakenheath, Suffolk  Photo: Masons

A driver taking a shortcut across a field in an attempt to avoid an 11-mile diversion in Lakenheath, Suffolk Photo: Masons

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Brazen motorists are driving across a farmer’s field in a sneaky shortcut to try to avoid an 11-mile diversion because of roadworks.

Dozens of vehicles have been caught on camera driving across the recently mowed hay field after a 20-metre section of main road nearby was closed to traffic.

The off-road route has become a popular diversion amongst motorists.

The field leads on to the back of residential homes where neighbours say cars have been cutting through the area.

The roadworks are blocking a section of the B1112 which residents use to travel less than half a mile from one end of the village to the other at Lakenheath in Suffolk.

A driver taking a shortcut across a field in an attempt to avoid an 11-mile diversion in Lakenheath, Suffolk  Photo: MasonsA driver taking a shortcut across a field in an attempt to avoid an 11-mile diversion in Lakenheath, Suffolk Photo: Masons

Residents face an 11-mile diversion to get from Mutford Green to Hall Drive in the village if the road is closed, via Station Road, Wingfield Road, Brandon Road, and Little Hemsworth.

One resident, who asked not to be named, said she saw a white van attempting to exit the field come through a gap in woods near her garden.

She said the van managed to come through across her “garden, up the kerb and off the kerb with a little bit of verbal in between”.

When the footage of motorists using the shortcut was shared on social media, exasperated residents blasted the drivers as “disgraceful”.

A driver taking a shortcut across a field in an attempt to avoid an 11-mile diversion in Lakenheath, Suffolk  Photo: MasonsA driver taking a shortcut across a field in an attempt to avoid an 11-mile diversion in Lakenheath, Suffolk Photo: Masons

Susan North, who often walks her dog around the same field, said: “It is a bit intimidating”, adding there were “not many places I can get off the track to let vehicles pass.”

Sharon Wright wrote: “Will people not learn, fields are private property.”

Mark Hayes added: “blimey there are some really lazy drivers out there.”

Although there was an uproar among the residents, a lot of people also stuck up for the drivers because the roadworks could be an “inconvenience”.

A driver taking a shortcut across a field in an attempt to avoid an 11-mile diversion in Lakenheath, Suffolk  Photo: MasonsA driver taking a shortcut across a field in an attempt to avoid an 11-mile diversion in Lakenheath, Suffolk Photo: Masons

Lisa Waller wrote on Facebook: “No defence for the drivers, but maybe show a little urgency in the works so people don’t feel the need to off-road it across the fields.

“Block the road off and do the works immediately. Looks like an abandoned site in the footage! Shame on the highways for not dealing with this asap.”

Liam Donovan said: “If it’s a main used road with no ‘close by diversion’ sign don’t close the whole road down, work on one side then when you have finished work on the other you can keep the traffic going - it’s been done many times.”

Renier Jansen wrote: “Love it! If there is a will there is a way!”

A driver taking a shortcut across a field in an attempt to avoid an 11-mile diversion in Lakenheath, Suffolk  Photo: MasonsA driver taking a shortcut across a field in an attempt to avoid an 11-mile diversion in Lakenheath, Suffolk Photo: Masons

A spokesperson from Suffolk Highways said: “Whilst the drainage works are being completed, an official diversion route is in place. We are disappointed to hear of private roads being misused to avoid the diversion and reports of members of the public abusing our staff.

“We appreciate that the official diversion route extends the journey duration, however this is in place to ensure safety of road users and our workforce at all times.

“We understand that people are using their local knowledge to use these shortcuts. However the use of privately owned roads is not acceptable or safe.

“The roads which are being used as a shortcut are privately owned, so we would advise that anyone who witnesses vehicles wrongly using the track are to contact Suffolk Police.

A driver taking a shortcut across a field in an attempt to avoid an 11-mile diversion in Lakenheath, Suffolk  Photo: MasonsA driver taking a shortcut across a field in an attempt to avoid an 11-mile diversion in Lakenheath, Suffolk Photo: Masons

“The road closure is in place for the Suffolk Highways drainage works between 30 July to 24 August.”

The road works causing the 11-mile diversion in Lakenheath, Suffolk  Photo: MasonsThe road works causing the 11-mile diversion in Lakenheath, Suffolk Photo: Masons

Today we can finally reveal the names of the people selected to be on our first ever Inspiring Women of Suffolk list.

This is a list that Suffolk should be proud of - 100 women who are positive role models for future generations, women who have achieved success in a diverse range of fields from business, the arts, sport and education to the third sector.

The list was put together by a panel of judges this summer after we asked readers for their nominations.

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