Growers' views sought on proposals to increase tractors' speed and weight limits

Views are being sought on whether to increase the speed limit to 25mph and whether the weight limit for tractors and trailers should be increased to 31tonnes or up to 33t or 37t (for a tri-axle trailer with road friendly suspension).

The Department of Transport hopes the increased limits will enable farmers and growers to transport produce more efficiently.

In order to qualify for the increased weights a voluntary, industry-led test is proposed.

The proposals have been welcomed by farming organisations – which claim the UK’s current limits are outdated and not in keeping with the rest of Europe.

NFU Vice President Adam Quinney said: "We welcome this consultation as part of the Government’s commitment to cut red tape and bureaucracy."

"The current regulations, which were set decades ago, do not reflect the technological capabilities and carrying capacity of modern tractors and trailers."

He added: "While other farm equipment has got larger over time the restrictions on 21st century tractors and trailers has prevented the efficient transport of crops from the field."

"This inefficiency not only leaves us at a competitive disadvantage compared to other Member States with higher limits, but also, we believe has a corresponding negative impact on the environment and road safety."

"We will be responding [to the proposal] in due course, but would encourage farmers and growers to make their own response to the consultation."

The Country, Land and Business Association (CLA) added that the proposals provided a clear statement about the Department for Transport’s commitment to cut red tape.

CLA President Harry Cotterell said: "It is hugely encouraging to see a government department looking at ways in which it can remove red tape and burdens to agricultural businesses."

The consultations will run until January 30 2014 and are available on www.gov.uk


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