Ulster carrier ban to go
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THE ban on Northern Ireland road freight operators entering Great Britain will soon be removed. As soon as the Ministry of Transport can complete administrative details there will be facilities for an interchange of carriers between Great Britain and Ulster. It is hoped that this will be effective by January 1.
The agreement will permit carriers licensed in Great Britain to enter Ulster provided they are in possession of a road freight operator's licence, which will be granted on application. At the same time Northern Ireland carriers will be granted a short-term B licence on application without having to prove need. I understand that these applications will not be published in As and Ds.
The system is on trial for nine months and is very much in line with that suggested by the Road Transport Association of Northern Ireland to the Department of Development. The agreement covers consignments passing between Great Britain and Northern Ireland and does not permit carriers to uplift and drop loads in the same country.
Mr. Isaac Hawthorne, MP for Northern Ireland, is Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Development, with special transport responsibilities. He told me this week that the scheme will give Ulster hauliers greater freedom. He added: "Whereas at the moment they may only be engaged in short hauls to shipside, they will have the opportunity now of going to Great Britain and bringing back a load. It offers the opportunity of full vehicle utilization."
Mr. Trevor H. Thornton, managing director of Northern 1 reland Carriers, is I know looking closely at the feasibility of "running through". Many of the new independent hauliers have told me they arc also giving the scheme close consideration.
Mr. T. Johnson, of Johnson Bros., the Belfast furniture removers, did not see any immediate advantage for his type of traffic. "We have a very good working arrangement with our counterparts across the water." J.P.B.S.