There are many opportunities for cross-border co-operation on transport issues which would be of mutual benefit to both jurisdictions, north and south, Chairman of the Committee on the Environment, Transport, Culture and the Gaeltacht Ciarán Lynch said today.
Addressing the Joint British Parking Association/Irish Parking Association exhibition and meeting in Belfast, Deputy Lynch highlighted how co-operation in areas such as road safety initiatives, road user education and enforcement and regulation, particularly in relation to fuel laundering, penalty points and vehicle clamping can benefit road users on both sides of the border.
Deputy Lynch, TD said: “This seminar is an example of how, on a cross-border basis, we can identify and develop areas of mutual interest and potential opportunities for co-operation.
“The cross-border pilot scheme to share vehicle registration details between the Department of Regional Development in Northern Ireland and the National Vehicle and Driver File in the Republic, the first such cross-border scheme to be implemented in Europe illustrates the benefit of cross-border co-operation and could act as a template for other areas of collaboration.
“The Committee on the Environment, Transport, Culture and the Gaeltacht recently issued a report on clamping which looked at the necessity for regulating vehicle clamping, both on public and private property, to ensure a consistent and fair approach is applied regardless of whether the property involved is public or private. Many of the recommendations and observations to this report would have relevance for operators, regulators and motorists in Northern Ireland.
“Our Committee has also examined the problem of fuel laundering, which is an issue of concern for both jurisdictions as it leads to a loss of revenue and impacts legitimate retailers and road users, as well as the environmental damage caused in communities north and south by the washing out of diesel. More punitive penalties, regular inspections, the introduction of a registration system and an overhaul of current legislation for licensing people who sell oil are crucial to tackling the problem of fuel laundering. Again, this is an area where we can learn from each other and where close co-operation would have beneficial effects.”