Road haulage boss in EU fight for lorry drivers
THE President of the Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA) Verona Murphy from Ramsgrange has held a high powered meeting with Violeta Bulc, the EU Commissioner for Transport, at which she addressed the migrant crisis in Calais.
Ms Murphy, who runs Drumur Transport in Ramsgrange, raised several issues with Ms Bulc, issues which, she said, cost Wexford transport companies thousands of euros, while lorry companies from other countries did not face these penalties. 'We had a really good meeting and the migrant issue was one of the issues which was on the agenda. It was horrible in Calais (last month) and it still isn't good. A number of attempts were made to access Wexford bound vehicles and as Calais is a huge port, (over 15 times bigger than Rosslare Europort), it is almost impossible to police.'
Ms Murphy said an increased level of security has helped lorry drivers at the port, but more needs to be done to ensure Irish companies get a level playing field abroad.
'I attended a meeting arranged by Mairead McGuinness. It was a unique meeting as it wouldn't be the norm for someone like me to meet with a commissioner so I was very privileged.'
Describing the meeting as positive, she said: 'She understands the issues with how EU roads legislation is being interpreted differently in other countries. If you buy a Mercedes which has two 1,400 litre tanks you have to remove one of the tanks in Germany as the limit is 1,200 litres and you have to get a German mechanic to remove the tank. You get fined huge amounts. There is also the UK HGV levy which is €15 now with the exchange rate, whereas before it was closer to €11. Then you get charged £300 if you don't pay it in advance. Ms Bulc was very aware of these issues and we will have a follow up meeting,' Ms Murphy said.