Fine Gael TD for Kildare South Martin Heydon, Chair of Fine Gael’s Internal Agriculture Committee, has today (Wednesday) welcomed the signing of the statutory instrument for a derogation for fodder from Height Restrictions for trailers by Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar.
Speaking at the signing Deputy Heydon said “This is an issue I first raised with Minister Varadkar back in October when the implications of the changes being introduced were highlighted to me by very concerned hauliers and farmers in Co. Kildare. Following discussions with my Dail colleagues I became aware that this was also an issue in other parts of the Country as well as for farmers in the west who rely on the hay and straw being transported to them.”
“I brought a delegation of hauliers from Co. Kildare to meet Minister Varadkar in November 2013 and he took on board the specific concerns they raised with him. The new restrictions which became active last November were signed into law by Minister Varadkar’s predecessor Minister Noel Dempsey in 2008 and allowed for a five year wash out period. I am delighted that the Minister took on board my concerns for the agricultural sector and was able to accept my proposal for a specific agricultural fodder derogation.
“The proposed height restriction of 4.65m would in many cases have meant hauliers having to transport one third less bales per load, thereby significantly increasing the overall cost per bale for the hard pressed farmers who are still trying to recover from the fodder crisis last year.
“These regulations were designed to address the issue of higher trailers driving through cities due to the height of the Dublin Port Tunnel, along with the Jack Lynch Tunnel in Cork and the Tunnel in Limerick. However loads of hay and straw were not seen as the causes of damage through bridge strikes and so this derogation has been allowed following consultation with Irish Rail.”
“This derogation which excludes hay, straw, silage and all baled fodder from the 4.65m height restrictions will become active in law in the next seven to ten days.”
Contact: Martin Heydon 087-6262546
Notes to the Editor
The attached photo shows Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar signing the Statutory Instrument in the presence of Martin Heydon TD for Kildare South, Chairman of Fine Gael’s Internal Committee on Agriculture.