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Trucks set to travel in convoys to Dublin in protest over rising fuel prices

During the last protest the truck drivers assembled at points on the major roads into Dublin and then drove in convoy towards Leinster House.
File pic

File pic

Conor Feehan

A truck drivers’ group who brought traffic chaos to the capital last month is planning another series of convoys to the capital tomorrow in protest at rising fuel prices.

The first protest on November 24 brought widespread traffic disruption to the wider Dublin area and the motorway network surrounding it when scores of trucks came from all over the country to park in the city centre.

The group, calling itself Irish Truckers & Haulage Association Against Fuel Prices, is a Facebook-based association not recognised by the Irish Road Haulage Association.

It has no spokesperson, a tactic seen as an effort to prevent legal actions against them in the planning of their protests.

During the last protest the truck drivers assembled at points on the major roads into Dublin and then drove in convoy towards Leinster House.

They created slow-moving convoys on the M50, M1, M7 and M4, and there were significant delays reported by gardai at Blanchardstown and Ballymun on the M50, Newlands Cross down from the M7, inbound at the airport on the M1, and at Liffey Valley on the M4. Donabate in north Dublin was also affected.

Trucks were driving slowly three-abreast at a slow pace, causing significant traffic delays behind them.

The lack of a spokesperson meant that drivers did not know what to do when they got to the capital, or how long to stay for.

Gardai had closed a section of Merrion Square to facilitate the parking of the trucks, and in the afternoon an ad hoc meeting of drivers took place and a representative asked that the barriers be lifted to allow the drivers leave the city.

The group yesterday posted a message on its Facebook page alerting drivers where and when to meet tomorrow morning.

Drivers were asked to meet at the M1 Services southbound, M2/N2 Motorway Ashbourne Retail Park, and M3 Service Station Maxol at 6am to leave for the city in convoy for 7am.

The M4 will have two meeting points. One at the Galway Plaza, meeting at 5am to leave in convoy for 5:45 am to join others gathered at the Kinnegad Plaza at 6am to leave in convoy at 6:45am.

On the M7 motorway there is expected to be truck traffic from 3am to get to Toughers Naas for 6am so drivers can have a break before leaving for Dublin at 7am.

There was no N11 meeting point planned, but the groups asked drivers to contact the Facebook page if they felt one needed to be organised.

“We will have marshals at each meeting point who will tell you when to leave and what route. No trucks in fast lane and minimum speed on motorway is 50km. Keep hard shoulders free for emergency vehicles,” a message to drivers read.

“Let's make this count the more the better. Get out and show your support,” it added.

Meanwhile, President of the Irish Road Haulage Association Eugene Drennan has said his group had meetings with Ministers Eamon Ryan and Hildegarde Naughton last Friday in relation to issues affecting transport, including rising fuel prices.

“We had deep discussions with both and have agreed to reconvene no later than mid January, and possibly before Christmas. We have to do costings and they have to do costings on different proposals, but we are at the table with them,” he told the Irish Independent.

He urged the truck drivers who are planning tomorrow’s protest to “reflect” on their actions.

“It is just days before Christmas and I would ask them to reflect on whether it is worth spending all that time, and money on diesel, upsetting people so near to Christmas,” he said.

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