Increase in speed and weight limits for tractors

The speed limit for tractors travelling on England’s roads has increased from 20 to 25mph from today (9 March 2015).
The maximum combination weight limit for tractors and trailers has also increased from 24.39 tonnes to 31 tonnes. These changes are expected to equate to almost £60 million savings for the farming community each year.

Transport Minister Claire Perry said: “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.
“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.”

The changes will allow farmers to more appropriately size their tractor to their trailer and maximise the amount of produce transported in each journey. This is expected to result in farmers having to make fewer journeys on the roads and reduce the risk of accidents.

A second phase of changes 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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Allowing tractors to go faster may seem like a good idea on some roads but surely not on single track roads. Tractor/trailer braking systems may have improved in recent times but they are still woefully inferior to cars and HGVs and as such their speed should be limited to say 10MPH on single track roads, especially where these roads are residential and often without foot paths. Add to this the situation where the road surface has been covered in mud (illegal I know but you try telling some farmers that) and 10MPH becomes much too fast. There is need for a good dose of common sense here and even more need for enforcement.