‘I’ve never seen diesel prices this high’

A protest by a large group of truckers and hauliers against rising fuel prices caused meaningful traffic disruption around Dublin on Wednesday .

The trucks made their way from the main motorways into the city centre from early morning. By 11.30am, the Garda said the inbound arterial roads have been cleared but traffic was nevertheless heavy on parts of the M50 from Junction 7 Palmerstown to Junction 9 at the Red Cow. There are also reports of heavy traffic in the city centre due to the protest. Some 80 trucks entered Merrion Square by 11am.

A new group, under the name Irish Truckers Haulage Association Against Fuel Prices, is demanding that the Government lower the cost of fuel after prices have increased to a record high this year.

The group asked commercial vehicles, including trucks, buses, tractors and vans to excursion to Leinster House on Wednesday in protest.

The convoys met at various locations off the M1, M2, M3, M4, M7 and M11 to depart for Dublin early in the morning.

Early morning Dublin citybound traffic on the M3 at Blanchardstown. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Sean Henry from Dunboyne in Co Meath, who has been a small haulier for more than twenty years, was among the first to arrive into the city centre just after 9am.

“We’re here to let the Government know they’re going to put a lot of us out of business with these prices. I’m doing this 20 substantial years but I’ve never seen the price of diesel this high,” he told the Irish Times.

In the last few months, “every time hauliers go to the pumps it just seems dearer and dearer but we’re not getting paid any additional for our loads,” he said.

Average fuel prices for petrol and diesel are at a record high, according to data collected by the AA.

The average price for unleaded petrol is now 172.6 cent per litre, while diesel is now 163.3 cent per litre, the highest since the AA started recording filling prices in 1991.

Petrol prices are up 27 per cent on this time last year, while diesel prices have increased by 28 per cent.

“My truck would take 600 to fill but recently it’s started going up to 620, then 650 and at the end of the week when you’ve put all your diesel into your lorry, your earnings are well down at that stage,” Mr Henry said.

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