Fianna Fáil Senator Marc Mac Sharry has called on the Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar to push for an extension to the deadline for new height restrictions for hauliers.
Under an EU directive, all HGVs must be under 4.65 meters from November 1st. But Senator Mac Sharry said many companies are struggling to meet this deadline.
“Hauliers are under severe financial pressure at the moment and many simply haven’t been in a position to replace their vehicles or make the kind of changes needed before the new restrictions kick in,” explained Senator Mac Sharry.
“These height restrictions pose significant problems for the industry, as it means reduced capacity and consequently an increase in HGV kilometres in Ireland and Europe. It will cause problems for the live export trade, which relies on double-decker transport to move livestock. Under the new rules, many of these larger vehicles will be outlawed.
“The very least that the Government can do is ensure that hauliers and suppliers are given more time to make the necessary changes to comply with this directive. Given the financial pressures on the sector, it has not been possible for hauliers or many suppliers to invest in new vehicles and agree new transport arrangements.
“Every effort must be made to ensure that these restrictions do not kerb the growth of the export trade and do not impact on Irish jobs. Minister Varadkar must take the lead in seeking an extension to the deadline to ensure that Irish industries relying heavily on the import and export of their goods have the time to make the necessary preparations.”