EC roadworthiness proposal opposed by NFU

EUROPEAN Commission proposals for a formal type of MOT to apply to all vehicles, including tractors and trailers, are being opposed by the NFU.

Speaking at the NFU Conference in Birmingham, Adam Bedford, who works in its European office, said the proposal was brought in with the aim of “cutting road accident fatalities to zero”.

The initial proposals would have required a new registration system for trailers, and the annual test would have included all agricultural trailers, even livestock trailers.

“We have opposed this from the outset. The EC’s transport council has also taken a view which is helpful to us, and has changed some of the text and put in exemptions for some agricultural vehicles. It would have been a nightmare if we had been required to test every vehicle every year.”

The proposals included tractors, said Mr Bedford, because they are used specifically for haulage in some European countries.

Faster and heavier

Also on the agenda, farmers who want to operate faster tractors, pulling heavier trailers may soon be able to do so, but will need to have their vehicles approved.

Delegates heard that the NFU and the British Agriculture and Garden Machinery Association were working for the introduction of a voluntary scheme which would see weights of 37 tonnes and speeds of 25mph allowed, but only for farmers who wanted to use the possible uplift.

If successful, the scheme could be in operation in 18 months time, and there would be no requirement for tachos to be fitted. Tractors and trailers for use under proposed changes would be individually tested, and the legislation would be ‘light touch’ delegates were told.

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