Fleet News

Driving myths investigated

Drive on minor rural roads for just 80 minutes and you will end up stuck behind a tractor according to new analysis undertaken by Green Flag Breakdown and University College London.

However, the transport experts have also determined that if you end up behind one of the UK's 250,000 tractors, on any of the UK's 132,352 miles of rural minor roads, it will only be for between 1.2 and 3.1 miles. It will only add just 1-2% to your journey time.

Statisticians have calculated, a motorist will end up behind a tractor on average only about once every one hour twenty minutes of driving on rural minor roads during the spring and summer months.

The study focused on the period March to September, when the majority of road usage by tractors is undertaken. Overall, drivers will end up behind a tractor during these months between two and four minutes, for every hour they drive on minor rural roads.

Henry Topham, head of Green Flag, said: "Many of us end up behind a tractor either directly or as part of a queue of traffic. Whilst it can be frustrating it’s worth noting that it won't delay your journey for too long, so getting impatient and undertaking risky manoeuvres to overtake the vehicle on a narrow, rural road is not worth it. With blind bends, narrow roads and overgrown foliage obscuring visibility overtaking in rural areas can be fraught with danger."

Professor Benjamin Heydecker at the Centre for Transport Studies, University College London, said: "Our calculations have enabled us to prove that drivers are indeed likely to end up stuck behind a tractor on a country drive through minor rural roads. However, we have shown that when this does happen, it typically causes only small delays to a journey."

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  • peteryoung2951 - 31/05/2011 13:42

    I have experienced this quite often but have found many tractor drivers do try to minimise the hold up and quite often will pull off to one side to let a queue pass.

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