Agricultural vehicles have been given an exemption from new EU regulations which could have made MOT-style testing a legal requirement, hortweek.com reports.
The proposals, which made their way to an MEP meeting in Strasbourg, outlined proposals which stipulated that tractors being used in the UK would need to undergo a similar level of roadworthiness testing as HGVs. However, after extensive lobbying from the National Farmer's Union (NFU), these plans have now been thrown out.
It was argued that forcing tractors to undergo the same type of testing as HGVs was unfair because of the more varied work they have to undertake on a daily basis. HGVs, on the other hand, have more limited tasks and are also more prevalent on Britain's roads.
Not only that, the NFU also suggested that tractors in Britain are on the roads for much shorter periods of time in Britain than in mainland Europe because of legal restrictions on red diesel. As such, introducing such a law would disproportionately penalise British farmers over others from the EU.
Other agricultural vehicles in the EU firing line were 'O2'-graded towing trailers, which are most commonly known for transporting livestock. Such regulation on these, the NFU claimed, would be "disproportionate, costly and bureaucratic". The calls were obviously heeded, as this decision was thrown out as well.
"This is a fantastic result following the lobbying efforts by the NFU's office in Brussels and is a victory for common sense," NFU vice president Guy Smith told westernmorningnews.co.uk.
"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."