The government will cut outdated regulation to allow higher tractor speeds and heavier tractor and trailer combinations from spring 2015. The government will also develop detailed proposals for a roadworthiness test for tractors and trailers.
Claire Perry said:
“Britain’s farmers have long suffered under unnecessary regulation that simply has not kept up with today’s technology.
“These changes will mean farmers can carry more produce per journey, delivering benefits of almost £62m per year.
“Helping farmers is a crucial part of the government’s long term economic plan. The changes we are making will improve the capability of modern machinery and ensure the farming sector can thrive.”
The maximum combination weight limit for tractors and trailers will increase from 24.39 tonnes to 31 tonnes and will set a new effective speed limit of 25mph, up from 20mph, saving time and money. Tractors allowed to exceed 25mph will continue to be subject to tighter design and regulatory requirements.
The increase in combined weight means bigger tractors can pull trailers without sacrificing cargo to meet the top weight limit of both tractor and trailer. This will maximise the amount of produce transported in each journey.
The changes will result in farmers having to make fewer journeys on our roads and so reduce the risk of accidents.
This is part of a phased approach by the government to help the sector – there will be consideration of further increases in weight and speed limits and a roadworthiness test for some agricultural tractors and trailers by summer 2016.
Today’s announcement follows consultations which ran from November 2013 to January 2014. The responses will be published today along with the impact assessment and Government Response which covers both speed and weight limits. Existing limits will apply until the first round of changes come into effect in spring 2015.