Farmers asked to be mindful of bikes as weather improves

The safety warning comes as farmers will be driving on public roads more frequently
The safety warning comes as farmers will be driving on public roads more frequently

Farmers are being asked to be mindful of cyclists and motorbike riders when using public roads as one of the busiest periods in the farming calendar gets underway.

With the weather improving coupled with lighter nights, farmers are out and about busy with various seasonal jobs from lambing to spreading slurry.

Silage will also be beginning soon adding to the volume of agricultural vehicles and machinery travelling on the road.

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 their vulnerability, the Ulster Farmers Union (UFU) is encouraging farmers to be extremely careful when driving in tractors and with large farming equipment.

"Farmers will be coming in and out of fields onto public roads very often," said Jennifer Hawkes, UFU rural affairs chair.

"It’s 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, she explained.

“Farm safety is a major issue within the farming community, but it stretches beyond the farm gate," Ms Hawkes added.

"Our roads can be a very dangerous place if extra caution and consideration for others is not applied.

"It’s important that all road users work together acting responsibly, and look out for one another when driving."

The Motorcycle Action Group UK (MAG) echoed this, calling for farmers to consider the safety of other road users and for motorcyclists to ride appropriately.

Martyn Boyd, NI regional representative said: "MAG welcomes the valued consideration of the UFU and support from its members to help improve safety for motorcyclists.

"It is important that they consider our safety and equally important that motorcyclists should ride appropriately and consider what dangers might lie around the corner.”