Drivers in Cumbria have been ignoring road closure signs and driving illegally along the B5292 Whinlatter Pass.
Road closure notices and diversion signs have been installed in Braithwaite but several vehicles passed through the road closure after the signs had been moved and tampered with by members of the public.
Some vehicles have also been using the verges to pass through the closure.
A section of the road between Braithwaite and Whinlatter Visitor’s Centre has been closed for a 20 metre stretch when a badger sett was uncovered last week underneath the road surface.
The county council’s highways team have now put extra measures in place to ensure this does not happen again, including sturdier barriers and sand bags on the verges. Warning signs have consistently been in place ahead of the closure to warn people of the diversion.
Cllr Tony Markley, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet member for highways, said: “Removing barriers and signs is completely unacceptable and poses an enormous risk to drivers.
“We understand that taking a diversion is frustrating, but we’re not just looking to protect the badger setts in this case, but also the public.
“The setts are less than five inches below the surface and the drivers who have blatantly ignored the closure are lucky that their cars haven’t ended up in a new hole in the road.
“Any driver who drives through a road closure is not only breaking the law but is also liable for their own actions should they have an accident. I hope that these new measures our highways team have quickly put in place will ensure this does not happen again.”