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Tractor driving branded 'ridiculous' as harvest season begins

A businessman in Devon has claimed harvest season is causing tractors to drive at "ridiculous" speeds through his village.

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Tractor driving branded 'ridiculous' as #harvest season begins

Large tractors and trailers make frequent trips through the narrow roads of Woodbury during the summer months with contractors getting paid by each load they harvest.


On Wednesday, a man suffered a head injury after his BMW collided with a tractor in the centre of the village.

Pic: Devon Live
Pic: Devon Live

The businessman, who asked not to be named, told Devon Live: "It’s like this every year at harvest time around Woodbury in the village and on the lanes from Sidmouth to Clyst St Mary. It’s ridiculous. We get all these tractors and trailers around the village.


"The problem is that there are so many of these contractors and because they get paid by the trailer load, you wouldn’t believe how fast they are driving around the village. It’s not only the speed, but they are doing it with a 20 tonne trailer-load full of hay or corn or spuds, or whatever they are harvesting.


"This poor old boy in his BMW was in a collision with one of them. His airbag went off but he’s cut his head. Lots of people are looking after him and the police arrived. But it was more than 40 minutes before an ambulance got here."


NFU Farm Safety and Transport Advisor, Tom Price, said: "Harvest always sees an increase in farm vehicles on the road. Everyone wants a successfully and safe harvest."


He issued some advice to farmers and other road users.


For tractor drivers:

  • Make sure vehicles are fit for the road before setting out.
  • Check that lights, brakes work and tyres are in a good condition.
  • Wear a seat belt if one is fitted and never use a mobile when on the road. Put it away.
  • Avoid build ups of traffic by pulling over to let cars pass when safe to do so.
  • Always be conscious of over road users, keep to the speed limit (25mph) and drive courteously


For other road users:

  • Be on the lookout for larger, slower moving traffic.
  • Keep back from slow vehicles – drive too close and a tractor driver might not see you in his mirrors.
  • Only over take when the road ahead is clear and there is sufficient space for you to pull back.
  • Most of all be patient and drive courteously.


This comes just a month after Daily Post columnist Judith Phillips called for tractors to be banned from a main road in Wales.


Here’s how farmers reacted on social media.


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