VOTE: Is farm traffic a menace on the roads?

A campaign to keep thundering agricultural juggernauts off unsuitable Chichester roads is being stepped up by a senior West Sussex county councillor, amid concerns the problem is getting worse.

Cllr Mark Dunn fears the possibility of a massive accident involving fast-moving heavyweight farm vehicles, and with the farm traffic set to increase during the summer months he is urging drivers to slow down.

He has also just disclosed the news the county council recovered some £1m last year alone from people responsible for damaging the carriageway – mainly with agricultural vehicles.

“What happens, however, is that the farmers file an insurance claim, and the insurers pay the bill,” he said.

Cllr Dunn – chairman of WSCC 2008-2011 – represents the Bourne division and has serious concerns about the speed of some of the traffic, often tractors pulling heavy agricultural machinery, or loads of produce.

He has already expressed the view he would like the county, district and city councils to push for strict controls to keep the vehicles off unsuitable roads.

“It is not just the raw speed of these vehicles, but the inertia of weight of some of them,” he added.

“I shall be returning to this again unless we can persuade the agricultural community to somehow moderate their present habits.”

Cllr Dunn said he planned to bring up the matter at the next full county council meeting, with a formal question to Cllr Pieter Montyn, the county cabinet member for highways and transport.

He also intends to raise it with the chairman of Sussex Police Authority.

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