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More enforcement on tractors needed if changes go ahead

  • 11 February 2014
  • By Hayley Pink

The government has been urged to step up enforcement activity in relation to agricultural tractors using public roads, if proposals to allow farm vehicles to carry larger loads and travel at faster speeds get the go-ahead.

Two separate consultations into the matter closed last week: the first was looking at increasing the weight limit for agricultural trailers to 21 tonnes and for tractor/trailer combinations to 31 tonnes (currently 18.29 tonnes and 24.39 tonnes respectively); and the second was looking to allow conventional tractors to travel at 25mph (currently 20mph for the majority of UK tractors) – the same as many other EU countries.

However, the Road Haulage Association (RHA) told it has safety concerns over the proposals and wants the government to review and tighten standards of regulation and enforcement against farm vehicles, bringing them in line with the compliance levels expected of hauliers.

Jack Semple, RHA head of policy, said: “Traffic levels and concerns over the management of road risk have moved on substantially over the past few decades.”

Freight Transport Association head of road freight and enforcement policy James Firth said: “We don’t want to stand in the way of a sector trying to improve efficiencies, but the strong feeling from our members is that, with the size of vehicle being proposed under the consultations, the government must now reconsider a more full regime of regulations and enforcement.”


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