FENLAND farmers have been given permission to use red diesel in their tractors to help grit and clear snow from public roads.

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Under normal HM Revenue & Customs rules, only vehicles that are constructed or adapted and used solely for spreading material on roads to deal with frost, ice and snow can undertake gritting work while using red diesel.

But HMRC has confirmed that farmers can use it during the extreme weather, joining vehicles that are being used to clear snow from roads using a plough or similar device.

An HMRC spokesman said: “HMRC recognises the vital role played by farmers in helping to keep rural roads clear. So during this period of extreme weather, HMRC will adopt a pragmatic approach to the rules.

“This means that agricultural tractors on public roads clearing snow or gritting to provide access to schools, hospitals, a remote dwelling, or communities cut off by ice and snow can continue to use red diesel.”

For more details call the Excise and Customs Helpline on 0845 010 9000.

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