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Goods Vehicle Bill important for reputation of Irish transport industry‏

2 April, 2008

North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA and Environment Spokesperson, Daithí McKay, has said that the Environment Minister must ensure that a new Goods Vehicle (Licensing of Operators) Bill is introduced before the summer.

Mr McKay was speaking after meeting with the Freight Transport Association today and said that the matter had been "put on the long finger" by Direct Rule Ministers for many years.

Mr McKay said:

"Ireland, north and south, has some of the worst transport standards in Europe, and new legislation to bring the north up to speed has been on the table since the 1990s but has never been progressed by Direct Rule Ministers.

"It is vitally important that we improve the reputation of the Irish freight and transport industry and this new Bill provides the opportunity to do just this. The 26 County Transport Minister, Noel Dempsey, is also moving forward on this issue and it makes sense that Goods Vehicle Licensing is consistent across the island.

"Its to be welcomed that the Environment Minister in the north is moving forward with this but she must ensure that there is no slippage in regard to its introduction and that she ensures that it is in place before the summer.

"This legislation is important for the reputation of the transport industry, its important for road safety and its important for our haulage drivers as well." ENDS

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