New regulations to increase the weight and speed limits of tractors and trailers, first announced in October 2014, will come into effect next month.
From 9 March 2015 an agricultural tractor towing an agricultural trailer will be able to travel at a higher combination weight limit of 31 tonnes (t), increasing from 24.39t. The existing trailer limit of 18.29t remains in place.
The DfT says the change will "allow farmers to more appropriately size their combinations as the current outdated weight limit incentivises farmers to use smaller tractors to tow larger trailers". The change could also increase the amount of produce that some farmers can carry in a journey, resulting in fewer journeys and thus fewer risks of incidents.
Furthermore, agricultural tractors and agricultural trailers which are currently restricted to travelling at 20mph will be able to travel at 40 kilometres per hour (approximately 25mph).
In a statement to Parliament, Claire Perry, transport minister, said: “These increases, which I expect to create over £57m a year in deregulatory savings for the farming industry, will update our regulations to better reflect modern machinery and bring British farmers more in line with their international counterparts.
“We are also considering further increases to speed and weight limits, including to the 18.29t trailer weight limit to bring further benefits to the industry alongside a roadworthiness test for harvest 2016.”