A relaxation of the rules on the use of red diesel will allow farmers to help grit public roads to enable them to help local communities during adverse weather, the NFU said today.
They will be allowed to use red diesel in their tractors, and other approved farm machinery, to help provide access to schools, hospitals, remote dwellings or local communities cut off by ice and snow. In recent years HMRC have allowed temporary relaxation of the rules in extreme weather, but prior to that farmers would have risked prosecution if caught.
It comes after the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) recognised the vital role that farmers play across the country during the winter weather.
NFU transport spokesman John Collen said: â€œThis is an issue the NFU has been pursuing for a number of years and HMRC has shown that it understands the issues facing rural communities in times of extreme weather. We are pleased that the proposed amendments will extend to all vehicles registered in agricultural tax class, which includes agricultural quad bikes, and that there will be no limit on distance.â€
HMRC will now draft an amendment to the legislation for Ministerial approval and will publicise when the changes come into effect.