During leaders questions in the Dail I raised the matter of the cartel that exists at the moment with regard to those who are qualified to give courses to people seeking hauliers licenses. I pointed out to the Tainiste that at present there are a few companies who are mainly located on the East Coast who are offering these course. However there are more companies around the country who want to offer this service at far more competitive rates but who are not being allowed to operate. One such company from Co Leitrim had representatives present in the Dail as I raised the issue and they will create 20 jobs and offer this course at almost half the price if they are allowed to operate. There are other companies around the country that will also offer these courses at a much lower rate than is the case at the moment. There seems to be no will on the part of the Minister or the powers that be to address the situation as it stands and I demanded that action be taken on this issue at the highest level.
I also raised the situation which has arisen recently in Athlone where the testing of drivers for lorries has been suspended on health and safety grounds. I pointed out to the Minister that Athlone is where I did my own test and that the roads in the area are eminently suitable for these tests. I will be interested to find out the real reason why testing in Athlone is suspended and where people from this region will have to go to in the future to do their tests