Safety fears are voiced over ‘massive’ tractors in Petworth

Narrow streets of Petworth
Narrow streets of Petworth

The increasing size of tractors and buses using the narrow streets of Petworth is raising safety concerns.

Rosa Pawsey told fellow town councillors she was concerned that big tractors could cause an accident as they drove through town.

“I know tractors are not classed as lorries and I know they are driven carefully, but they do come into town and I am always concerned that with parts sticking out, you could bang your head.”

Rob Evans told fellow councillors structural damage had recently been caused to his town centre house by a huge ‘brand new combine harvester with a trailer attached to it from a company based in Kent, which had only been on the road two days’.

“It took up the whole pavement in New Street, the wheels were right against the walls of the chemist. The driver said once he had been sucked into the one way system, there was no way out.”

He said the vehicle had been following a lead car which had taken it as a ‘short cut’ through the town.

“There must be a limit because everything agricultural has become massive and quaint little Petworth cannot cope with it,” said Rob.

Michael Peet said the A272 had been blocked for two hours: “It was a rainy day and all the Glorious Goodwood traffic was going through and having to turn round.

“That vehicle should never have been going through town.”

Fellow town councillor Liz Singleton said she was concerned that bus drivers did not seem to be taking care in the centre of town.

“I have seen one going the wrong way, one took out part of an overhang and they are also mounting the pavement.

“Sooner or later there is going to be an accident and someone is going to be clipped.”

Chairman of the council Chris Kemp said part of the problem was that some new buses were bigger: “The biggest versions are too long to get round our beds in Petworth.”

It was unclear, said Chris, whether tractors fell under HGV regulations adding: “We are sitting in the countryside and therefore tractors are part of our community, but they are getting very big and I don’t know where we stand.

“I support farmers in everything they do, but we do have a problem with the size these tractors have grown to.”

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