HEREFORDSHIRE farmers have been accused of illegally driving through a town centre at high speeds in large vehicles.

At a Ledbury Town Council meeting on September 29, Councillor Malcolm Hughes said that he had observed large farm vehicles driving through the town at speed.

Coun Hughes said he had spoken to Ian Connolly, a traffic management advisor at West Mercia Police, who advised the town council to act.

There are signs in Ledbury that ban heavy good vehicles from travelling through the town centre, but Coun Hughes suggested that farmers and other drivers of large vehicles were ignoring them.


Councillor Elizabeth Harvey agreed that this was an issue and said that much of the problem at this time of year was due to the potato harvest, as tractors with trailers of potatoes cut through the town to save time. Another potential reason for this, she said, was sat navs not being updated to show the road restrictions.

“Drivers are looking at the sat navs and not looking at the signs,” she said.

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Councillor Tony Bradford highlighted that Ledbury Town Council spends £10,000 a year on CCTV and suggested that these cameras could be better monitored to catch vehicles breaking the law.

He suggested that the council petitioned both Herefordshire Council and West Mercia Police and said: “The police are doing nothing.”

West Mercia Police Sergeant Bennett said: "The Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) are aware of complaints raised historically, but not this most recent concern raised at the town council meeting. We will welcome their engagement with us to discuss specific concerns.

"All road users including agricultural vehicles are subject of road traffic legislation. The SNT regularly conduct speed checks in and around Ledbury and engage with drivers.

"We balance the support of our rural working community with that of Ledbury Town Council to ensure that any concerns raised are addressed.

"In the past week, the SNT have visited local farms in the Ledbury area to provide some advice to farmers and contractors who are busy at this time of year to ensure the safety of all road users - for example clearing mud on roads and debris from hedge cutting."

Coun Hughes put forward a motion that the town applied to the county council for a full review of traffic signage in Ledbury, including weight and height prohibitions and boundary signs for the town centre.

“The intention is to dissuade drivers of heavy goods vehicles from driving through Ledbury and to provide timely “positive advice” about alternative routes,” said Coun Hughes.