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No More Convoys ?

New tractor and trailer weight limits come into force

FARMERS will be able to take larger tractor and trailer combinations on to the road and drive them faster from today (March 9), as new tractor and trailer weight limits come into force.

9 March 2015 | By Alistair Driver

Under the changes, which were confirmed in February, the maximum combination weight limit for tractors and trailers has increased from 24.39 tonnes to 31 tonnes along with a rise in the speed limit for tractors to 40km/h (approximately 25mph), up from 20mph.

More changes are likely to come in next year. The second phase will see a further consideration of increases in weight and speed limits and a roadworthiness test for some agricultural tractors and trailers by harvest 2016.

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New tractor and trailer weight limits came into force on March 9

Transport Minister Claire Perry said these changes would save almost £60 million for farmers.

“These changes will allow tractors to carry more produce per journey, meaning less traffic on our roads and almost £60 million savings for the hard-working farming community each year,” she said.

“Farms are the life-blood of rural communities and helping them is part of the government’s long-term economic plan to improve the lives of people up and down the country.”

Helpful for farmers

NFU transport spokesperson John Collen said: “The date given for the new speed and weight limits to take effect is helpful for farmers – early March means it’s in time for busy periods such as silage and hay making and harvest.

““We are pleased to see that DfT recognises that the current limits are outdated and they are considering further increases, and we welcome the opportunity for continued negotiation of enhanced limits for harvest in 2016.”

CLA Midlands regional director Caroline Bedell said: “Tractors are safer and faster than they were when these speed limits were imposed 27 years ago. These changes will make our rural roads safer by reducing the amount of overtaking that takes place. 

“We will continue to press for further changes, especially related to the weight limit for heavier trailers. It is time to make sure the law reflects the major advance in technology that has taken place, leading to a reduction in the number of journeys taken, further lessening the risk of incident.”

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