LOCAL politicians have welcomed the news that farmers have been granted permission to use red diesel in their tractors during the current wintry weather conditions.
HM Revenue & Customs decided this week that the normal rules which only allow vehicles specifically designed to deal with frost, ice and snow – such as ploughs – on public roads using red diesel, should be relaxed to include farmers.
And Hawick MP Michael Moore has backed the move which allows farmers to help provide access to schools, hospitals, remote dwellings, or communities which have been cut off.
He stated: “Some of my constituents have contacted me regarding this issue, frustrated that farmers have been unable to use their tractors to clear the snow and grit because of the rules on red diesel.
“I welcome this decision by HMRC which recognises the invaluable role played by farmers during snowy weather and I know it will really help people in the Borders.”
Hawick MSP John Lamont is also pleased with the change in the rules, adding: “This is a pragmatic recognition of the vital role played by farmers in helping to keep rural roads clear in areas like the Borders. If the trend of the last two years continue, this decision could pay dividends in the future.”