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NFU's plea wins MoT reprieve for farm vehicles

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: April 07, 2014

Tractor's using the roads will not have to undergo MoT-style testing.

Tractor's using the roads will not have to undergo MoT-style testing.

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FARMERS have dodged an EU ruling that would have forced them to carry out MoT tests on their tractors after the National Farmers' Union secured an exemption.

An agreement has been reached at the European Parliament following a vote last week that will retain the current exemptions for agricultural vehicles.

Industry experts say that tests for them would have been unnecessary.

NFU boss Paul Cook, of Ashbourne, said the exemption will help to cut bureaucracy.

Mr Cook, Ashbourne's group secretary, said: "This is a fantastic result following the lobbying efforts by the NFU's office in Brussels and is a victory for common sense.

"We worked hard to explain to MEPs that imposing MoT tests on standard tractors and livestock trailers, used by thousands of farmers, would mean more needless red tape as well as increased costs in return for little safety benefit.

"The NFU advocates the use of the Farm Vehicle Health Check scheme and, as an organisation, is committed to ensuring the safety of all agricultural machines on the roads of Britain."

The plans, which formed part of the EU's wide-ranging Roadworthiness Package, would have introduced new costly MoT-style testing for many agricultural vehicles, including road-going tractors and all trailers used to carry livestock.

Originally, all O2-graded trailers, which would include a normal livestock trailer towed behind a four-wheel-drive vehicle, would have been subject to MoT-style testing.

The NFU argued that testing of tractors and livestock trailers would be "disproportionate, costly and bureaucratic".

Legal restrictions on issues such as red diesel use and operator licensing mean that tractors are used on the road for more limited time than in other countries and, therefore, farmers in the UK should not be penalised, the union insisted.

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