An opening presentation by Barry Lyons gave the delegates a clear view of the issues that where worked on by the EPDA and the programmes that they are currently undertaking. The contributions from the top table and the floor were extremely constructive and enlightening. The input from the floor gave strong support for the work in hand and gave the meeting Both William Brennan and Kevin Hurley emphasised that membership of the association is open to all professional drivers regardless of employment status. Employees and the self employed will benefit equally from Association representation. William went on to discuss the difference in the legal status of employees and the self-employed. When it came to being a professional driver, both groups have the same needs however some employers may be unaware of the legal status of the self employed.

Admin Ladies Alex and Kate welcomed Deleagtes
Many topics of interest were discussed
Seamus Cullen outlined the need for the EPDA to have a voice in matters that effected Professional Drivers. For too long now the working environment for the professional driver has been created by managed with little or no direct input by professional drivers. to enhance the safety record and the legal compliance of road transport operators it is vitally important that professional drivers have a direct input into matters that directly concern them.

In answer to questions from the floor in relation to the diversity of roles that professional driver covers and how could these be accommodated by one group, Ciaran Hurley gave a number of examples of where very large organisations such as the Revenus Commissioners represented  diverse groups and did so very successfully. 

Joe Doyle’s view on the necessity of a formal structure that would be manageable in line with similar professional bodies would best serve the EPDA. The working time directive, drivers hours and tachograph regulations are the key areas that most drivers need assistance with. The cause of Infringements in these areas are of concern to all professional drivers and Joe and his team will be researching best practice which members are very much looking forward to being presented with the findings.    

The overwhelming consensus was that the EPDA has moved to the next level. Edward Duffy who formally took up a role as a board member had outlined the difficulty in getting a structure in place that would meet the demands of diverse roles within the road transport community. However having heard from the delegates he agreed that the manner by which the EPDA was structured would meet the demands of all professional drivers.    

From the floor Eugene Fanning identified the need for regular communication from the Association in relation to the programmes that are being undertaken namely the Cyclist and Pedestrians Safety Training and the Motorway road signage programme. Both of these events are of great interest to members.  

The event organisers would like to thank the very generous support they gratefully received from the staff and management of Wynn’s Hotel who provided the venue for the event and to Genesis Print & Design for providing the printed material for the event. 

EPDA meetings are held on the third Saturday of the month at 14.30. The agenda and venue for the next meeting will be announced in the first week of June.