From next March tractors will be allowed to increase their speed on public roads.
The government has announced that the maximum speed limit for conventional tractors will increase from 20mph to 25mph from March.
The Country Landowners Association (CLA), which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses, has welcomed the change but is disappointed that the maximum weight on trailers will not be increased.
CLA director for the south east, Robin Edwards, said: “Rules around the maximum speeds for agricultural vehicles on the road have not changed for 27 years and are outdated.
“There have been significant changes in agricultural machinery during this time, so keeping the speed limit the same would have been counterproductive for agricultural businesses.
“Raising the speed limit to 25mph will bring the UK’s speed limit into line with the majority of Europe, making British farming businesses more competitive. Not only that, roads will become safer as unnecessary congestion is reduced along with the risk of accidents associated with overtaking.”
Mr Edwards said he was pleased with the announcement that the maximum weight for tractor and trailer combination will be increased to 31 tonnes.
But he said it was disappointing that the limit for the maximum weight on trailers will not increase past 18.29 tonnes.
He said: “Allowing a heavier tractor to be used improves safety on the road, but farm businesses also need to be able to carry greater amounts of produce, reducing the number of journeys.”