The Association of Farm and Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) was before the committee this week and raised concerns over the growing number of cyclists using the road, particularly at the weekend.

Under proposed new legislation, cyclist must be given 1.5-metre space when overtaking.

“This would be difficult if not impossible to achieve with tractors on many N (national) and R (regional) grade roads,” the FCI said.

Cyclists travelling four abreast

It was also raised that meeting groups of cyclists travelling four abreast with little interest in other road users was a regular occurrence.

“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 a NCT test.

“There is no special licence required and no NCT on bicycles,” the group said, adding that there are more accidents with cyclists than with tractors.

FCI also called for some training for cyclists to “make them aware and alert to the needs of other road users, especially busy contractors who are working during the peak harvesting seasons.”

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