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Drivers cut across Lakenheath field to dodge 11-mile diversion

PUBLISHED: 16:31 09 August 2018 | UPDATED: 17:58 09 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.

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”.

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.”

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

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”.

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.”

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

A spokesman from Suffolk Highways said: “We are disappointed to hear of private roads being misused to avoid the diversion and reports of members of the public abusing our staff.

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

“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.”

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