New Agricultural Vehicle Dispensation Agreed

Union secures new system to make registering wide or abnormal loads much easier

NFU Scotland has been successful in obtaining a new agricultural dispensation system to make registering wide and abnormal loads for farmers across the country much easier.

Over the last 12 months the Union has been working with Police Scotland to agree a nationwide dispensation system, which will operate from March 2015.

In the course of every-day agricultural operations, farmers will have frequent requirements to move machinery on public roads.

Under the current system, members are required to notify Police Scotland of each individual movement of relevant machinery.  This can be difficult to comply with as farming is subject to seasonal weather constraints and increasingly complex operations that require frequent movement of machinery over concentrated periods of time.

Following liaison with Police Scotland, NFU Scotland sought a formal dispensation system with a standardised application procedure to make it easier for members to comply.

Now, as part of this new agreed dispensation, members are required to notify Police Scotland of wide vehicle movements.  Police Scotland may then issue a dispensation for up to 12 months within a 20-mile radius.

To apply, farmers can email with their name, address, email, along with vehicle type and registration numbers and the width and length of the largest piece of equipment.

Police Scotland has discretion to offer dispensation for a shorter period and may choose to apply individual restrictions including not going on certain roads and avoiding certain times of day.

Gemma Thomson, NFU Scotland’s Legal and Technical Policy Manager commented: “The new system is a result of NFU Scotland working in partnership with Police Scotland at a policy level, and it is extremely pleasing that it has been possible to reach this outcome.  

“Whilst previously some historic force areas offered an informal dispensation system, many areas were not able to utilise it.  Police Scotland has granted a nationwide dispensation system, which will operate from March 2015.

“The new dispensation system will allow farmers to notify Police Scotland of their machinery and movements via email.

“We recognise that vehicle movements outside the agreed radius would require to be covered by an individual movement notification.  However, this approach ensures that under most circumstances members can easily comply with policy, as well as reducing time the spent by Police Scotland in dealing with applications.

“Whilst this approach removes the need for farmers to notify the police of each individual movement, NFU Scotland would like to remind farmers that they still have a duty to ensure that movements are safe and all legislation regarding escorts and vehicle marking are complied with.

“NFU Scotland would like to thank Police Scotland for their assistance in developing the new dispensation system, and would encourage all members to make every effort to comply with it. The Union looks forward to working with Police Scotland on an ongoing basis.”

Chief Superintendent Iain Murray, Head of Road Policing for Police Scotland, said: “This new way of working will give us the opportunity to authorise movement of the abnormal loads with any restrictions necessary; give suitable advice to farmers; encourage compliance with road traffic legislation and have a positive impact on road safety by making the use of the roads safer.”


Contact Ruth McClean on 0131 472 4108

Date Published:

News Article No.: 38/15

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