Rural roads ‘a barrier’ to nation residing, survey finds

ALMOST 1 / 4 of individuals are frightened that the standard of rural roads presents a barrier to nation residing, new analysis has revealed.

Harvest time brings much more agricultural autos onto rural roads and with it the elevated hazard of collisions.

The examine, performed by rural insurer NFU Mutual, comes throughout essentially the most harmful time of yr on the UK’s rural roads, as uncertainty over elevated harvest site visitors results in a big improve in collisions.

The UK is in the course of harvest season, with excessive volumes of agricultural site visitors on the street all through summer season, together with many tractors pulling heavy silage and grain trailers or huge agricultural equipment.

Sadly, the newest claims information from NFU Mutual reveals that collisions between agricultural autos and third events had been 52 per cent extra doubtless between the beginning of Might and the top of September 2022 than in every other months. On common, there have been 423 of those accidents per thirty days in the course of the silage reducing, hay making, and harvesting season, in comparison with 249 per thirty days between October and April.

In addition to a rise in agricultural site visitors, the summer season months additionally coincide with the varsity holidays and a better quantity of leisure site visitors, with street customers not essentially used to rural roads, which might additional improve the chance of accidents.

Andrew Chalk, rural street security specialist at NFU Mutual, requires better consciousness and respect from all rural street customers.

He mentioned: “Rural roads include distinctive hazards, together with slim lanes, fewer street markings and infrequently much less well-maintained surfaces.

“NFU Mutual’s new analysis reveals {that a} vital variety of individuals are uncomfortable on rural roads, and sadly that is solely extra acute as agricultural equipment site visitors will increase in summer season.

“Our claims information reveals that accidents involving these agricultural autos and third events are over 50 per cent extra doubtless within the harvesting season, so it’s extra necessary than ever that street customers are affected person and thoughtful for his or her fellow street customers.

“Agricultural autos are typically giant, huge and gradual, which might tempt street customers to overhaul, but it surely’s very important that you just stay affected person and solely overtake when it’s protected to take action – when you’ll be able to see a transparent street forward, there aren’t any area openings, and you’ve got area to go. With slim rural roads, you might want to attend for an acceptable alternative.

“Farmers and contractors can not drive too shortly, however they’ll typically both be going a brief distance to an adjoining area or will – and may – pull over to permit built-up site visitors to go. Motorists and cyclists ought to be affected person, give agricultural autos room to show and never drive too intently to them, which may be harmful and might impede your view earlier than overtaking.

“It’s necessary to do not forget that rural roads are very important arteries for our agricultural trade, permitting farmers to usher in the harvest which helps feed the inhabitants, in addition to valued areas which permit us to flee the hustle and bustle of on a regular basis life.

“Mutual respect from those that use rural roads for work and for pleasure will finally assist preserve our motorists, cyclists, horse riders and walkers protected this harvest season.”

NFU Mutual has compiled a information to respecting rural roads throughout this yr’s harvest season:

All street customers

Give loads of area when overtaking. Susceptible street customers, equivalent to walkers, runners, horse riders and cyclists, ought to be given as a lot room as motorists the place attainable.

At all times test for different street customers, significantly on the entrance of fields and junctions.

Be affected person with fellow street customers and solely overtake when it’s protected for all street customers.

Contemplate the place you park to keep away from blocking area entrances or obstructing the street for huge agricultural equipment, equivalent to mix harvesters, as they’ll typically must drive throughout two lanes.

Concentrate on mud on the street. Rural roads are important to our farming trade and due to this fact some mud can be dragged from fields to the street.

Familiarise your self with the Freeway Code.

Keep away from pointless distractions like taking a look at your telephone or listening to music by way of headphones, permitting you to pay attention to your environment.


Guarantee all tools is street worthy and pay explicit care to issues like trailers which can not have been used for months. Examine brakes and indicators and be sure you have reflectors and a beacon to your car. Use the Tilly Guidelines to examine your trailer.

Concentrate on weak street customers or hidden junctions, making contractors conscious of those junctions and commonly-used strolling, biking and driving routes.

Familiarise your self and your contractors with the pace limits to your autos.

In case your agricultural autos go away mud within the street, keep in mind to wash it up.

When turning, point out in loads of time and test greater than as soon as for street customers in your inside.

Be respectful to fellow street customers, however solely permit them to go when it’s protected to pullover.

Pedestrians, cyclists and motorists

Velocity limits aren’t targets. At all times drive appropriately and keep in mind rural roads are prone to have hazards equivalent to tighter carriageways, blind corners, and animals within the street.

Pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders ought to take into account carrying acceptable clothes which permits them to be seen.

Respect that rural roads are very important to our farming trade and anticipate to come across tractors, farm equipment or animals within the street.

Sign accurately and in loads of time, whether or not you’re a motorist, bicycle owner or horse rider.

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