Feel like Royalty in the majestic New Laguna, writes Ian Mallon

SO WE'RE up in running in the great transport hootenanny just six months into the new government.

And why exactly a group of Mayo farmers, more akin to tractors and silos should be allowed to sit on the so-called 'Transport Committee' is anybody's guess.

This week these ruddy cheeked yokels met to discuss their great transport plan for the future and came up with an original one indeed.

Their great plan after six months in office and more time on their hands than Ben Dunne tied to a radiator was entitled 'Driving lessons for secondary school students'.

Now, where have we heard that before? How about every single time one of these newly formed cabals meet after the formation of a new Government.

Is it all that extra cash the Oireachtas transport committee members get from meeting for just one hour a month that goes to their head and causes amnesia, or do they really think that they're the first ones with this unworkable and unaffordable plan.

This is a country where we have such a catastrophic backlogs in teaching adults how to drive, and where we cannot even teach students the basics in spelling and arithmetic.

But anyway, in time honoured tradition our latest cross culchie committee has bellowed across the fields that: 'Driving instruction should be compulsory in schools to make Irish roads safer'.

This directive came just one week after massive cutbacks in the education system were agreed, and when the teachers of Ireland were wailing that by having one extra student in their classes would push them to breaking point.

I mean how much work is one supposed to squeeze in on 20 hours a week and €60k a year? And anyway, have you ever seen how teachers drive? Is this how we really want our kids to end up.

The next time the transport committee meet, maybe they should just stick to the simple stuff like filling potholes and having enough salt in storage for when the next big snow comes.

Something that thankfully had no such illusions about itself, but still managed to come across very well is the Renault Laguna.

And unlike any of our elected representatives, the Laguna is excellent value for money, for a car which looks and feels far grander than it is.

For a start the Laguna Royale is a mere 1.5 litre diesel engine, but you could have fooled me -- it felt at least 1.8 and had bags of poke on the road.

Superb performance and handling aside, the interior felt utterly regal as the name suggested.

A car with tan leather and the impression of dark walnut interior is not something you expect from a 1.5 litre Renault.

All in, this was a thoroughly surprising package, and pesky Renault radio aside, was a superb experience.

The Laguna price range starts at €24,500.