IFA claims Ross re­neged on NCT pledge

Irish Independent - Farming - - NEWS -

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.