New helpline for farmers

A new helpline has been launched by the NFU Scotland to assist members with the plethora of queries that surround the legal use of agricultural vehicles, both on and off road.

With new transport legislation introduced regularly, the NFU Scotland agricultural vehicle helpline allows members to get advice and ask questions on the rules and regulations they must abide to for vehicles, tractors and trailers.

The free advice line will be run by Linlithgow farmer Jamie Smart, Legal and Technical Committee representative for Lothian and Borders. As a former chairman of the Legal and Technical Committee, Jamie has, over many years, built up a strong knowledge of the rules and regulations behind agricultural transportation.

In addition to the dedicated number, a new email address allowing farmers to access advice has also been set up, which Jamie will also manage.

Jamie said: “Transportation is at the core of farming. We need to haul inputs onto our farms, use vehicles in everyday farming operations and then get our goods to market. This advice line will help our members to negotiate the legislative minefield that surrounds transport.

“That legislative pressure will only build with the likes of Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) legislation being introduced next year and the consultation for raising the weights of tractors and trailers being launched this week.

“This advice line will give reassurance to our members that we are here to help and all they need to do is pick up the phone or send me an email and I can help where I can.

“Over the past few months I have had a surprising number of phone calls even before the helpline has got started. I would expect the number of farmers contacting me to increase once the new helpline has been made public and as new legislation comes into effect.”

To contact Jamie, members can phone 07733 136424 or email agrivehelp@nfus.org.uk