September 19 2014 Latest news:
Sunday, March 23, 2014
A lobbying campaign has successfully secured exemptions for agricultural vehicles from “unnecessary” MOT testing after a vote earlier this month by the European Parliament.
The ditched proposals, part of a ‘Roadworthiness Package’, would have introduced new MOT-style testing for many farm vehicles including tractors and livestock trailers. National Farmers’ Union vice president Guy Smith said it was a “fantastic” result and followed lobbying by the NFU.
Originally all ‘O2’ graded trailers, such as a normal livestock trailer towed behind a four wheel drive vehicle, would have been subject to MOT-style testing.
The NFU argued that prescriptive and onerous testing of tractors and livestock trailers would be disproportionate, costly and bureaucratic.
Following months of lobbying, which was backed by the Member State governments in the Council, the MOT-style testing of all livestock trailers will now not be needed.
On tractor testing the NFU also argued that requiring the same level of testing as is required for HGVs is unreasonable due to the multitasking nature of agricultural machinery. 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 as such farmers in the UK should not be penalised.
NFU Vice President Guy Smith 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.”