Tractor drivers hit out at cyclists travelling sometimes 'four abreast' on country roads
The growing numbers of cyclists on rural roads, particularly in groups at the weekend, is becoming a concern for farm contractors.
Speaking at a hearing of the Oireachtas Transport Committee today, Michael Moroney CEO of the Farm Contractors Association (FCI) said the requirement to allow 1.5 metre space to overtake a cyclist is difficult to achieve with tractors in many N and R grade roads.
"While it is legal to cycle two abreast, in many situations FCI members meet groups of cyclists travelling four abreast with little interest in other road users.
"We have noted that some of these cyclists are moving at speeds in excess of 40km/hr while the proposal is that tractors at these speeds have to undergo an NCT test.
"There is no special licence required, no formal training needed and and no NCT on bicycles that are rated for speeds in excess of 40km/hr.
"There are more accidents with cyclists than with tractors," he said.
Use of hard shoulder by tractors
Farm Contractors also hit out at what it called 'considerable hassle' of members by local Gardai who it said have issues of interpretation of some specific regulations as they impact on tractor use on the public road.