Dáil debates

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Other Questions

Haulage Industry Regulation

10:00 am

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

The Road Traffic (Construction and Use of Vehicles) (Amendment) Regulations 2008 set the maximum height limit of vehicles at 4.65 m.  This maximum height limit was decided following a public consultation process undertaken in 2005.  Originally, it was proposed that there be a two year derogation to allow for vehicles registered, licensed or in use prior to the introduction of the new limit to be withdrawn. Subsequently, following representations from the haulage industry, it was agreed that a five year derogation or wash-out period would apply.  The regulations were signed on 14 September 2008 and came into force on 1 November that year. The derogation expired on 31 October 2013.

There is already an abnormal load permit scheme in place operated by the local authorities which allows vehicles that exceed statutory dimensions to operate in exceptional circumstances.  The abnormal load permit scheme is not meant as an alternative to complying with existing vehicular mass and dimensions legislative requirements.  Any attempt to undermine the intent of the scheme would result in those operators who are compliant with vehicle heights legislation being at a competitive disadvantage, while those that do not comply would benefit. On a broader point, it would send the message that regulations set in transport matters are not serious and subject to change on foot of last minute lobbying. This would incentivise non-compliance. This would only serves to create greater confusion in the industry in the long term and make investment decisions within the transport industry much riskier.


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