Thursday, 7 November 2013
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
Road Safety Issues
247. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will introduce a derogation to the new HGV height restriction for vehicles transporting bulky agricultural products such as hay and straw; if his attention has been drawn to the financial implications for the transport of such products with the current height restriction; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47560/13]
Statutory Instrument 366 of 2008 - Road Traffic (Construction and Use of Vehicles) (Amendment) Regulations, 2008 sets the maximum height limit of vehicles in this country at 4.65 metres. The derogation was introduced to allow a five-year period within which vehicles operating at heights in excess of the new limits could be withdrawn from use in Ireland or to allow for the necessary height reductions by operators. The derogation expired on 31st October 2013 and I have no proposals to extend it nor to make any exceptions to the scope of the Regulations.
This maximum height limit was arrived at following a public consultation process undertaken in 2005. Following this, it was announced in January 2007 that a limit of 4.65m would be introduced. Originally it was proposed that there be a two year derogation for vehicles registered, licensed or in use prior to the introduction of such a limit. Subsequently, following representations from the haulage industry it was agreed that a five year derogation would apply and this applies to those vehicles registered, licensed or in use prior to the 1st November 2008, when Statutory Instrument 366 of 2008 was signed into effect.
Extending this derogation would have the effect of penalising those operators who have adapted their fleet recognising that this derogation was coming to an end, and rewarding those that did not. It is more than six years since the 4.65m limit was announced and the industry has had more than adequate time to accommodate themselves to the new limit.