St Albans farmer welcomes increased speed limit for tractors

Local farmer Bill Barr with his dog Digby is happy that the government have raised the legal speed l

Local farmer Bill Barr with his dog Digby is happy that the government have raised the legal speed limit for tractors from 20mph to 25mph - Credit: Archant

They won’t exactly be giving F1 drivers a run for their money, but local farmers are now able to drive faster after the government increased the speed limit for tractors.

Frustrated motorists who have long lamented being stuck behind the bulky farm vehicles on narrow country lanes will be relieved to know tractors can now travel at 25mph – five miles an hour faster than previously.

The change has been welcomed by St Albans farmer Bill Barr, who said: “People do get agitated. I remember when the speed limit was once 15mph, but modern tractors are so much better and have good brakes – the government really could have increased the speed limit to 30mph.

“It’s good for farmers and drivers, and should make a big difference as nowadays farmers spend a lot of time on the roads going between farms, particularly if they are working other people’s farms as well as their own.”

Transport Minister Claire Perry said new speed and weight limits for tractors, which took effect yesterday (Monday), would help boost the agricultural economy.

Under the changes, the maximum combination weight limit for tractors and trailers has increased from 24.39 tonnes to 31 tonnes.

The minister 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.”

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She said it would result in farmers making fewer journeys and reduce the risk of accidents.

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA), which speaks on behalf of 33,000 members who own or manage over half the rural land in England and Wales, said the changes bring the UK in line with competitors in other EU member states.

A spokesman for the CLA also welcomed news that the Government is considering further increases to the speed limit and weight restrictions in time for harvest 2016.