Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Ceisteanna (465)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

465. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if consideration is being given to the introduction of a scheme to protect cyclists similar to that which was introduced in London recently (details supplied); and if further measures to increase the minimum standards for trucks, which would protect both cyclists and pedestrians, will be part of the annual CVRT. [46053/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I welcome any improvements in safety standards to protect vulnerable road users.

However, while I am not familiar with all the details of the scheme referred to, there appears to be some misunderstanding regarding its nature. 

First of all, it is not a change to the minimum standards for Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) that apply in the UK.  These standards are set at present, as they are for Ireland, at the level of the European Union as a whole, as they are integral to the Single Market. 

This scheme rather relates to local bye-laws imposed by the relevant local authorities in London. These require HGVs to have permits when moving within Inner London, as a condition of which they must meet certain visibility (and presumably other) standards. 

The scheme is therefore similar to but perhaps less strict than the current provisions in Dublin City which ban vehicles with five or more axles during the hours of 07.00-19.00 seven days a week from a designated cordon area – between the canals - and provide a limited permit scheme for such vehicles that need to load or unload within the city centre area.

In any case, the regulation of traffic movements is a matter for the relevant local authority, as it is in the United Kingdom.

However, my Department along with the Road Safety Authority are constantly working to improve road safety and as such I am pleased to note that the EU updates its standards on an ongoing basis, including new standards for visibility in HGVs which will come into effect from 2022.   We will monitor the situation as it develops.