Four poster beds, garden furniture and canoe found on Yorkshire's busiest roads

Four-poster beds, a full garden furniture set and canoes are just some of the items that have been found on some of Yorkshire’s busiest roads. More than 46,000 items have been found by police and Highways England officers on motorways and A-roads across the UK in just 10 months. In Yorkshire, there were 8,982 items shed by cars and found at the side of the road including a canoe, four-poster bed, box-van and a metal shed.

On-Road Team Manager for Highways England Jon Hammerton, who patrols roads in West Yorkshire, said: “I personally have dealt with bicycles, a canoe, a fully assembled four-poster bed, a metal shed, and many other weird objects. “Often people buy items on social media market places and then the buyer turns up to collect it in a small car, with no trailer, and simply ties it to the roof hoping for the best. “Shed loads can close a road for several hours as well as putting people at risk.

You must secure your load before you set out. It could prevent an accident and save lives.”

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Traffic officer Nick Ainsworth from West Yorkshire added: “I once had the entire rear of a box-van on the A1(M). It was huge.

It was still intact but ended up on its side on the hard shoulder and we had to get a recovery truck to remove it.” While On-Road Team Manager Rob Frost, who is based in South Yorkshire, said: “We have had fence panels, a shed, tools, toolboxes, motorcycle bags and top boxes – the whole contents of one family’s top box was spread all over three lanes of the M62 as they were returning from holiday.” Other items that traffic officers have had to contend with include a complete set of garden furniture on the M1 in South Yorkshire which took four officers to remove.

Figures collated by Highways England show that most incidents happen on the A1(M) and M62 followed by the M1, M18 and A1. Highways England figures show that there were more than 3,000 items on the carriageway of the M62 between June 2019 and April 2020. The most items dropped on motorways were building or construction materials.

Between June 2019 and April this year, there were 2,169 incidents of building/construction items obstructing major roads. Meanwhile, there were 1,393 incidents of vehicle parts or accessories found over the same period and 688 household or garden items. The RAC, Road Haulage Association and Freight Transport Association are supporting Highways England’s calls for drivers to check their vehicles, trailers and loads before setting off on journeys.

Ben Aldous, RAC patrol of the year, said: “Just a few minutes spent making sure things like bikes, roof boxes and caravans are completely secure, and then double-checking them can make the difference between a trouble-free journey and one that puts people’s lives at risk as well as causes long delays for other travellers.

“We’d ask everyone checks loads at the same time as looking at things like tyre tread and pressure, and oil and coolant levels.

The more care drivers take before setting out, the smoother their journeys.”

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