IFA claims Ross reneged on NCT pledge
THE Irish Farmers’ Association has accused Transport Minister Shane Ross of reneging on a written commitment that the Road Safety Authority (RSA) would engage with stakeholders before bringing in the NCT for tractors,
Concerns have been raised about the new regulations, in particular the need for the roadworthiness test for agricultural tractors reaching speeds of 40kph that exceed the 25km radius limit for the haulage of agricultural produce.
IFA president Joe Healy said the farm body had written to the minister in March raising farmers’ concerns on the new regulations.
In a reply, the Transport Minister stated it was anticipated the RSA would “engage with the key stakeholders” ahead of drafting any national regulations.
“This did not happen and Minister Ross proceeded to sign the relevant Statutory Instrument into law last month without any consultation,” said Mr Healy, adding it was signed into place by Mr Ross on September 21, the last day of the National Ploughing Championships, to come into place in May.
The IFA pointed out it attended a meeting at the end of September and last week with the RSA, but by then it had already been signed into place.
Mr Healy said there were aspects of the regulation that are excessive, unnecessary and go further than the requirements of the EU Directive. Mr Healy said they had sought an urgent meeting to ensure changes are made to the Statutory Instrument.
The Association of Farm and Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) said the need for the testing of ‘fast’ tractors that exceed the 25km radius limit regulation for the haulage of agricultural produce was “totally unworkable” and would add significant costs to farmers.
The RSA said the measure was not aimed at farmers, rather tractors being used to conduct commercial haulage business.
It is also working on producing guidelines in the coming weeks on how the regulations will be implemented in practice.