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"An absolute disgrace" - Hauliers hit back at criticism of Monday's blockade

The Irish Road Haulage Association has responded to criticism from Freight Transport Association Ireland over yesterday’s blockade action.

Image: Steve Parsons/Press Association Images

THE IRISH ROAD Haulage Association (IRHA) has hit back at criticism from Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI).

On Monday, a blockade by the IRHA caused major traffic disruption around the Dublin port area.

The group was conducting this action in response to what they felt to be unfair treatment in this month’s Budget.

Criticism

The FTAI has criticised the action for the unnecessary disruption it caused.

In a statement today, FTAI General Manager Neil McDonnell, said, “FTA Ireland is the voice of responsible logistics. The diversion of Gardaí away from essential duties elsewhere to police this no-warning action was irresponsible and regrettable.”

Any haulier who can spare several vehicles to drive empty around Dublin Port for four hours during peak operations is likely to have too many assets on their fleet. They would better address their cost base by removing them.

Response 

Speaking to TheJournal.ie in response to the comments, President of the IRHA Eoin Gavin, responded by saying:

It is an absolute disgrace…  many of their members were out with us yesterday and they should be doing the same. They talk out of both sides of their mouth.

“There wasn’t trucks driving empty around in Dublin Port yesterday. Many of the biggest truck fleets in the country were represented there – it didn’t cost anything in terms of outlay – it cost time… there was a bit of hardship to people on the East Wall Road… but we had great cooperation from the Gardaí,” said Gavin.

In response to these comments, Neil McDonnell said, “The UK levy became law on 1st April. Neither the Dail nor the IRHA have done anything about it. We’re still looking for a transit concession through NI; we want to achieve something positive for our members.”

Representatives from both the IRHA and the FTAI appeared before the Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications in April.

In the UK road tax for hauliers is £650 while in Ireland it stands at €4,000. The issue with the Road User Levy relates to Irish-registered lorries having to pay a €13 (£10) road tax each time they enter the United Kingdom – which occurs frequently for those travelling through Northern Ireland.

Read: Dublin’s Port Tunnel reopens, but traffic is still slow

Also: Truck drivers plan further traffic chaos, and one Minister isn’t very happy about it

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