Drivers warned of dangers on Northumberland’s country roads at harvest time

Motorists are being warned of the dangers facing them on Northumberland’s country roads this summer.

By Paul Larkin
Saturday, 7th August 2021, 12:45 pm
More farming vehicles will be on the roads of Northumberland during harvest time. Picture Michael Gillen.
More farming vehicles will be on the roads of Northumberland during harvest time. Picture Michael Gillen.

Rural officers are urging families, day trippers and holidaymakers heading to the region’s beauty spots to take extra care, remain vigilant and stay patient as the busiest season for tourism coincides with the harvest.

Roads across Northumberland are expected to see soaring levels of visitors as well as an increase in large vehicles like combine harvesters, trailers, tractors and machinery.

Neighbourhood Sergeant Cassie Hyland has warned drivers to be patient, especially when overtaking slower moving vehicles.

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She said: "Understandably, these summer months are always a busy time for our region with visitors flocking to some of the country’s most beautiful sites and coastlines which we are lucky enough to have on our doorstep.

“While we will always welcome the increased in tourism which comes with these summer months, we want to make sure everyone stays safe on our roads and respects the important roles our farmers and agricultural workers carry out as the harvest approaches.

“We would advise anyone travelling to take care, plan their journey in advance, and allocate extra time for traffic jams and large, slow moving vehicles. We know delays and congestion can be frustrating but everyone needs to play their part in keeping other road users safe.

“Please be considerate when parking and make sure you don’t block gates to fields and that you allow enough room for machinery to pass. Take your time on country roads and keep your distance from other vehicles as there may be unseen hazards ahead.”

She added: “This weekend is set to be really busy as we approach the start of Appleby Horse Fair and expect a number of horse and carts on the road, so please be extra patient. We have also been engaging with the travelling community asking for their cooperation and advising them to pull over and let other vehicles pass safely.”

Appleby Horse Fair, in Cumbria, starts on Thursday, August 12, and has attracted up to 50,000 travellers and visitors from across the country, many on horse-drawn trailers and caravan.

Motorists are also reminded to regularly check their vehicles and make sure they are road worthy before longer journeys.