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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 January 2006, 09:01 GMT
Apology over 'speeding' tractor
Steve Crossman
Mr Crossman's 26mph tractor has never been to Wales
A farmer from Wiltshire has received an apology after he was accused of doing 85mph on his tractor in south Wales.

Steve Crossman was sent a ticket after a speed camera on the A465 near Neath allegedly snapped him.

But the six-year-old green-and-yellow tractor has a top speed of only 26mph and has never been to Wales.

Mid and South Wales Safety Camera Partnership said it had misread a number plate and has apologised. The real speeding driver escaped a ticket.

The first 49-year-old Mr Crossman knew of his tractor's alleged antics was when a letter arrived at home, Mill Farm in Horningsham near Warminster.

It's a good tractor, but not that good
Steve Crossman

He said: "The letter arrived and we opened it and it was from South Wales Police and it was a speeding ticket.

"We couldn't work out why because we hadn't been to Wales for about five years, then we noticed the actual number plate was the number plate of my tractor.

"It's a good tractor, but not that good. It can just about get up to 26mph, but that's downhill, with a following wind and with no trailer on the back. There's no way it could get close to 85mph."

Speed camera (generic)
The camera snapped a car but the number plate was misread

He rang up to let the Mid and South Wales Safety Camera Partnership know his six-year-old John Deere 6910 tractor had never been over the Severn Bridge into Wales.

"The lady that I spoke to found it quite amusing and said they would investigate it. A couple of days later they phoned through and said they had misread the number plate."

It turned out the letters FOT on the car which was photographed by the roadside camera had been mistaken for FDT, the letters on Mr Crossman's tractor.

No prosecution

He said: "They've estimated it would take me five hours to get to wherever the event was, the A465."

He said he had heard that Neath was "nice" but admitted: "I wouldn't have a clue where it was. I've heard of the rugby team but that's about all."

Phil Davies, manager of the Mid and South Wales Safety Camera Partnership, said: "We have launched an internal investigation and are ploughing through the photographs to see what happened.

"We are looking into why our checking system failed to spot the mistake.

"We have apologised to the tractor owner and appreciate that he has seen the funny side."

The actual speeding driver will escape prosecution because it is too late to send him a ticket.




SEE ALSO:
Speed refunds after camera mix-up
21 Dec 05 |  South East Wales
Police expert disputes speed fine
02 Nov 05 |  North East Wales
Speed fines refund after blunder
25 May 05 |  North East Wales
Speed camera fines show 70% rise
25 Apr 05 |  North East Wales


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