Freight News, Road

FTA Ireland hits out at IRHA over Dublin blockade

[ October 21, 2014   //   ]

Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI) has condemned fellow industry body the Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA) for its involvement in a blockade at Dublin Port on 20 October. FTAI said that the IRHA’s action, which was over vehicle taxes. caused traffic chaos across the city and disruption to essential supply chains. Around 100 drivers were involved in the action, according to media reports.
FTAI said: “This type of action gives the industry a bad reputation and disrupts people’s everyday lives, and there are more professional and effective ways to influence Government than bringing Dublin to a halt.
General manager of FTA Ireland, Neil McDonnell, said: “FTA Ireland is the voice of responsible logistics. The diversion of Gardai away from essential duties elsewhere to police this no-warning action was irresponsible and regrettable.  The logistics business is a force for good in the Irish economy, and should not be used to cause frustration and disruption.
“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.”
While acknowledging the real issue of high vehicle taxes and the factor that hauliers based in the Republic now have to pay the UK HGV Road User Levy, FTAI says that this type of action discredits operators and is unjustifiable and counter-productive. It also called on the IRHA and its members to reconsider their threat to hold further protests in future.

As a result of the Dublin Port action this morning, the Department of Transport issued a comment stating that they were seeking to remedy the industry difficulty on road tax with an inter-departmental Working Group outlining options to the Minister.

The IRHA said it was frustrated by the lack of progress on the issue. President Eoin Gavin said: “While the Department state that there is an inter-departmental working group in place the Association is concerned with the complete lack of evidence that this group has made any progress on the matter. There is no substance to the statement made by the Department this morning and it will not influence our strategy going forward. The industry needs the Government to fast track efforts to overhaul road tax for trucks in the south. They have been talking about changing the road tax system for the last four years and to date have produced nothing which assists the haulage operator at ground level. The industry has had enough, we need action now, not more of the same old message from the Department.”

The IRHA is calling for an urgent meeting with government ministers.


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