The decision of the Road Safety Authority (RSA) to implement new measures regulating the NCT rules for farm tractors 'has left the farming community stunned’ according to Independent TD, Mattie McGrath this week.

Deputy McGrath was speaking after it was confirmed that the RSA will now force tractors with a capacity greater or equal to 40kph to have an NCT where they travel distances of 25 kilometers.

“This new regulation cannot be described as anything but utter madness. It demonstrates a complete detachment from farming and agricultural reality.

“There is a real feeling here that rules and regulations are being dreamt up with no sense of how they are going to impact farming families. We need to have an immediate moratorium on this daft decision and a full review put in place to assess its impact.

“At the very least this new measure will just confirm the existing view of the farming community that this is a government totally and dangerously out of touch,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

ICMSA’s President John Comer described the decision as 'completely absurd' and said that this appears to be another 'solo run' by Minister Ross where stakeholders are presented with a decision as a fait accompli, without any consultation or opportunity to amend or contribute. 

Mr Comer said it seems to be another arbitrary cost to farmers and agricultural contractors along with the hassle and administration burden involved. “That this appears to be a cut-and-paste of UK legislation – which they decided not to proceed with in that jurisdiction – tells you everything you need to know,” he noted. 

The ICMSA President concluded by saying that in the interests of a workable distinction, Minister Ross must clarify the definition of ‘commercial road haulage’ as referred to SI 413 of 2017.