ROAD BAN AGRICULTURAL MACHINERY NOT PERMITTED ON M11
FARMERS IN Co. Wicklow have been ignored by an arrogant National Roads Authority in relation to upgrades to the N11 dual carriageway which will see all agricultural machinery banned from it now it is a motorway.
That’s according to the chairperson of Co. Wicklow IFA James Hill who says the local farming community is less than impressed with the decision. Mr. Hill told The Wicklow
People this week that the concerns of farmers were raised with the NRA were totally ignored and that the consequences have not been fully considered.
‘We did express our concerns to the NRA previous to the decision as an interested group but our concerns were ignored. We feel the decision was already made and that the consultation process was merely entered into as a legal requirement,’ he said.
With large farming machinery unable to travel along the M11 as of last Friday, the changes will now see small towns blocked up with them as they have no alternative route.
‘Arklow will be one of the worst affected areas, as will Rathnew. We are talking about large tractors and combine harvesters as well as livestock containers negotiating narrow crowded streets. Also the addition of speed ramps in many towns will not help. The junction of Main Street, Arklow and Bridge Street is a prime example. The traffic will be backed up through the whole town while machinery takes that turn. This leaves everyone in a very difficult position.’
Mr. Hill added that while farmers were allowed to take their machinery onto the N11 there were never any complaints from the public about delays or inconvenience.
‘To date we have been able to travel on the hard shoulder without holding anyone up. If they are forced back onto the old roads and through towns there will be chaos. I am sure the traders will not be happy either.’
Speaking in relation to a time-sensitive permit that can be arranged for specific dates when farmers will be working in certain areas.
‘This will not work. How can a farmer be absolutely sure what time they will be travelling to their land with weather conditions the way they are? It is an unrealistic suggestion,’ adds Mr. Hill.
Members of Co. Wicklow IFA are now calling for an exemption in relation to rules against such machinery travelling along the motorway.
‘We don’t know how we will go about applying for this but to date all we have received are glib answers from the NRA. We don’t wish to inconvenience the public. All we want is to get on with our work in the most practical way possible.
‘There is arrogance about the whole issue which is unacceptable considering the government couldn’t even see fit to complete the dual carriageway upgrades already promised.’
Farmer and Wicklow IFA chairman James Hill is unimpressed with the decision to ban farming machinery from the N11.