LEO VARADKAR HAS appeared to rule out the introduction of any new tolls on Irish roads while he is Minister for Transport saying that there are no plans while he is in the Department.
He was responding to a study carried out by the National Roads Authority (NRA) which recommended that five tolling points should be introduced across Dublin’s M50 motorway to combat congestion.
“I have no plans to introduce any new tolling points while I am in office as Minister for Transport,” Varadkar said today.
The Irish Independent reported this morning that the NRA proposals could see motorists facing some €6.50 in tolls, more than double the current rate on the M50.
The Department of Transport said that the NRA report is “merely a set of recommendations” and had been carried out as a planning condition.
In a statement it said that Varadkar has “serious concerns” about the proposals for multi point tolling on the M50, indicating it would drive traffic into residential areas.
The Department also said it has some concerns about the methodology used the in the report. Varadkar said today: “We don’t think that serious congestion will return on the M50 in 2015. We think it will be further back than that.”
The Dublin West TD added: “And also I have a serious objection to multi point tolling on the M50.
“I think that will just displace traffic into other areas, into Lucan and Palmerstown and Castleknock and Tallaght and off the M50 into residential areas.”
Sinn Féin said there needs to be better investment in public transport networks and said that increased fares would do nothing for “already hard-pressed road users”.