Road Safety News

Government to increase tractor weight and speed limits

Monday 20th October 2014

The Government has announced its intention to “cut outdated regulation” to allow higher tractor speeds and heavier tractor and trailer combinations from spring 2015.

Under the changes, the speed limit for tractors will increase from 20mph to 25mph (40km/h), and the maximum combination weight limit for tractors and trailers will increase from 24.39 tonnes to 31 tonnes. 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. The Government says this will result in farmers having to make fewer journeys by road, thereby reducing the risk of collisions.

Claire Perry, transport minster, said: “Britain’s farmers have long suffered under outdated rules which simply have not kept up with today’s technology.

“These changes will mean farmers can carry more produce in each journey - delivering benefits of almost £62m per year.

“Helping our farmers is a crucial part of the Government’s long-term economic plan and updating the rules to better reflect the capabilities of modern machinery will boost the efficiency of the farming sector and the economy.”

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 summer 2016.

The announcement follows a consultation which ran from November 2013 to January 2014. Existing limits will apply until the first round of changes come into effect in spring 2015.



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Sorry Mark, the 20mph (not 24mph) was scrapped in 1930 because it was (and is) out-dated. The age of mobility for millions instead of a few rich people was dawning as cars become more accessible to the masses and faster speeds meant greater distances could be travelled. This free for all allowed for a rise in road deaths, but remember there was no driving test (which I think was suspended during WW2), a minimum driving age had only just been introduced, so I imagine that there was still plenty of under age drivers. No Highway Code before 1931.

The 30mph speed limit was introduced in 1935 for built up areas only, not as now, where even roads with fields either side have them! 1935 was the year window screen wipers were introduced along with those new fangled orange flashing globes at pedestrian crossings that were introduced the previous year, become to be seen everywhere.
Terry Hudson, Kent

Agree (2) | Disagree (1)

In the 1930s the Government of the day accepted the argument that because speed limits were difficult to enforce and that drivers would keep to reasonable speeds, the urban speed limit of 20 mph (or was it 24 mph?) could be scrapped. By 1933 they changed their mind and reintroduced a limit at 30 mph. It would have been better for us all if they had kept the 20 mph but they could not make the abolition look like a total mistake!
Mark, Caerphilly

Agree (2) | Disagree (4)

What an odd turn of phase to use, when the government says that it wants to "cut outdated regulation", while at the same time is imposing on a nationwide massive scale 20mph speed limits, that were deemed 'outdated' in 1930 and were abandoned!
Terry Hudson, Kent

Agree (3) | Disagree (3)

It would appear that I have some dissenters being minus three on the liking scale. However, I come from a history of policing and reporting miscreants that would drive their vehicles around with sharp ragged or jagged edges on their vehicle or no bumpers just the brackets and/or anything else that could cause injury to any persons coming into contact with it. Yet some have a soft spot for farmers that create our food and have a hard life. The DfT has published a guideline for the covering or removal of such dangerous accessories that farmers use almost daily on our roads but that paper is disregarded and from time to time an innocent road user comes into contact with such implements with fatal results. Road safety is road safety and the law is the law whether we have sympathy or agree with it or not.
bob craven Lancs

Agree (14) | Disagree (0)

When tractors are now heavy leviathans and, like sea monsters, with very sharp jagged and spiked machinery towed or in front of many they are used on our roads and at speeds sometimes in excess of 40 mph this legislation isn't even catching up on reality.

With the support given to cycling on country roads it will not be long before serious injury or death occurs to those peacefully using these roads. I would have preferred some form of escort vehicles being used to safeguard all other road users from such dangerous vehicles.
bob craven Lancs

Agree (19) | Disagree (13)