Plans are afoot to allow faster tractors onto our roads.
Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has announced consultation on increasing the weight and speed limits for agricultural tractors and trailers on our roads.
In March this year, the Department for Transport in Britain introduced legislation which increased the speed limits for tractors. Previously restricted to 20 miles per hour, agricultural tractors can now travel at 40 kilometres per hour (approximately 25mph).
Further, the maximum combination weight of an agricultural tractor towing an agricultural trailer increased to 31 tonnes from 24.39 tonnes in Britain.
This consultation considers whether the Environment Minister should introduce similar changes here.
Mr Durkan said: “Increasing the speed of tractors on our roads and their permitted weights would undoubtedly be beneficial for the agricultural community, which is a vital component of our economy.
“I am constantly seeking ways to support our key industries and that is why I am seeking to introduce the GB legislation here.
“I must however be mindful of any potential impacts on road safety and our rural roads and am therefore seeking views on this proposal. Once received I will give careful consideration on how to proceed.”
The consultation opened on May 22 for a six week period, ending on Friday, July 3.