Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) encourages farmers to be mindful of cyclists and motorbike riders when using public roads.
The appeal comes as one of the busiest periods in the farming calendar, silage season, is just around the corner.
UFU rural affairs chair Jennifer Hawkes said, “With the weather improving and a longer stretch in the evenings, farmers are out and about busy with various seasonal jobs from lambing/calving to spreading slurry.”
“Silage will also be beginning very soon, adding to the volume of agricultural vehicles and machinery travelling on the road.”
She added that the public, particularly cyclists and motorbike riders, will also be taking advantage of the good weather and will be using public roads more frequently.
“Due to the vulnerability of cyclists and motorbike riders, we are encouraging our farmers to be extremely careful when driving on the roads in tractors and with large farming equipment. Farmers will be coming in and out of fields onto public roads very often.”
Hawkes said it is important that they keep an eye out for bikes and muck or debris that has fallen from their tractor or equipment, and we would ask them to keep the road clear.
“Debris and muck pose a hazard as it can create a slippery surface which would be made worse by rainfall and could have the potential to cause a serious accident, especially if on a corner.
“Farm safety is a major issue within the farming community, but it stretches beyond the farm gate.”
“Our roads can be a very dangerous place if extra caution and consideration for others is not applied. It is important that all road users work together acting responsibly, and look out for one another when driving.”
Martyn Boyd, NI regional representative for Motorcycle Action Group UK (MAG), said,
“Motorcycle Action Group welcomes the valued consideration of the UFU and support from its members to help improve safety for motorcyclists across the province during the busy spring and summer months.”
“Farmers will be sharing the roads as they enter and leave fields. It is important that they consider our safety and equally important that motorcyclists should ride appropriately for the conditions and consider what dangers might lie around the corner.” Boyd concluded.