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Farmers Need Better Roads

11th May 1951, Page 39
11th May 1951
Page 39
Page 39, 11th May 1951 — Farmers Need Better Roads
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

READING a paper . entitled " Agriculture and Road Transport " before the International Road Federation in London, recently, Mr. G. A. Baxter, transport secretary of the National Farmers' Union, made a plea for better communications for farmers. -Millions of pounds were being spent on establishing a highly efficient agricultural industry, he said, but present efforts were leading only to the farm gate.

Produce had to be moved promptly and efficiently, and this could be done only by adequate feeder roads to the main highways. The surface of existing rural roads was deplorable.

Transport facilities and road conditions, said Mr. Baxter, exerted a definite influence in intensifying both arablc and dairy farming near the densely populated areas. Every ton of produce moved Off the farm and every ton of raw material moved on to it had at one stage of its journey to travel on a road.

The movement of all farm produce to market and transport from suppliers' premises to the farm cost about £.100m. a year. about £70m, of this sum was accounted for by road transport provided by the haulier or by the farmer.

Farmers operated about 100,000 goods vehicles and 300,000 agricultural tractors, and on that account contributed to the national revenue sortie £2m. a year in Road Fund duty alone. Some 84m. gallons of fuel were consumed by commercial vehicles, tractors, self-propelled combines and other agricultural -machines. With the tax now standing at 1s. 10d. a gallon, farmers paid nearly atm. a year in fuel taxation, making a total.of-£10i-n.

Agriculture would share the ,benefit of motorways, but feeder roads had first to be made capable of dealing with agricultural traffic. They would have to be resurfaced and widened in places to permit modern machinery to traverse the carriageway without incurring damage.

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