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Vehicle Helpline Proving a Hit with Members

More than 30 farmers given transport advice since launch

NFU Scotland members are continuing to take advantage of a free helpline set up at the end of 2013 to give advice about vehicle and transportation issues.

The dedicated number and email address, run by Linlithgow farmer Jamie Smart, has received more than 30 calls and emails since it began last year. It allows members to get advice and ask questions on the rules and regulations they must abide by for vehicles, tractors and trailers.

Queries have ranged from speed limits for tractors and age restrictions for drivers to trailer weight advice and Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) for drivers – the latter attracting the highest number of calls.

Members in the North East and East Central regions have used the dedicated number and email address the most since the helpline was launched. Many have contacted Jamie on the back of a seminar held in partnership with Police Scotland and the Vehicles and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) in Aberdeen at the end of November. It is hoped further workshops will be held across the rest of the country in the coming year.

Jamie, Branch Chairman for the Bathgate and West Calder region and who has been involved with NFU Scotland’s Legal and Technical Committee for 12 years, commented:

“Up until now calls have been mostly on driver CPC, tractor speeds and driver ages, but as the spring comes around I expect to receive more calls about vehicle widths and notifications to the police.

“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.

“I hope to be able to provide members with the information they require to operate their vehicles and machinery in accordance with the current legislation. This information is often difficult to find elsewhere as it is such a specialist area.

“I also hope to be able to develop partnerships with regulatory bodies such as VOSA and Police Scotland so that we can work together to find solutions to some of the more difficult issues.

“If members want to speak to me for help or advice they can phone me on 07733 136424 or email me at agrivehelp@nfus.org.uk. Please remember to have you NFU Scotland membership number to hand when you call the helpline or contact me through the email address.”

Notes to Editors

  • The free helpline can be contacted by phoning 07733 136424 or emailing agrivehelp@nfus.org.uk.
  • A photograph of Jamie Smart is available on request. Please email ruth.mcclean@nfus.org.uk or 0131 472 4108.

Ends

Contact Ruth McClean on 0131 472 4108

Date Published:

News Article No.: 10/14


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