HL Deb 27 July 1998 vol 592 c166WA
Lord Mancroft

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Why motorways and other main roads are fenced with wooden post and rail fencing which wild and domestic animals can easily get through; how long this type of fencing lasts; and what does it cost. [HL2913]

Baroness Hayman

A post and rail fence is the most common type of fencing used on motorways. It is preferred over other fence types because of its general appearance, long life span and relative ease of repair following damage. Where there are special circumstances which warrant some form of better protection, such as where a motorway runs through land where deer may be present, higher, close boarded or other types of fencing are specified. The timber used in the construction of a post and rail fence is specified to be capable of achieving a desired life of 40 years. The average national cost per linear metre is £9.50 at 1997 prices.

For motorways, the Secretary of State undertakes in a fencing covenant to provide and maintain a sufficient fence to prevent cattle or sheep and—at the request of the landowner—horses and pigs, from straying on to the motorway. Other small stock are, however, regarded as the liability of the owner/occupier, although there is no objection to a landowner tacking wire netting along the bottom of the fence to contain them.

In the case of the all purpose trunk road, fencing is provided by the Highways Agency, but to a specification agreed with the landowner as part of the accommodation works when a road is constructed or improved. The maintenance of the fencing is the responsibility of the landowner.