No room in the tractor for qualified driver

How is a young farmer spreading slurry, working on a tractor with only one seat, to accompany the qualified driver who is supposed to accompany him or her under new driving licence permit requirements? That was the question posed by ICSA Rural Development Chairman John Flynn this week, as he slammed the new rules, saying that they were drawn up with city people in mind and totally ignore rural lifestyles. He also called for rural transport in every village, in light of the government’s new rules governing holders of provisional licences. ‘These rules are obviously designed with city people in mind, and totally ignore rural lifestyles. It’s fine for the Dublin brigade, with plenty of buses, the LUAS and the DART, but in reality, the huge population that lives in the countryside have been completely ignored. They have very limited access to public transport, and this government is very slow to provide it. We pay the same taxes, but have significantly less amenities,’ said Mr Flynn.  ‘I know of a village in Sligo which has just one public bus link weekly, and this is on a Saturday. How are people supposed to get to work, or get their children to school? ICSA is insisting that tractors should be exempt from the new provisional licence arrangements. Young farmers spreading slurry should not be confused with boy racers. Every eegit knows that most tractors only have one seat, so are we supposed to attach our accompanying qualified driver to the roof? These new rules are doomed to failure, unless the appropriate funding is invested in a viable and substantial rural transport network.’