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Some 5c coins produced outside Ireland might be causing a problem at the Eastlink toll

Dublin City Council said it did not accept that customers had been overcharged, stating that any rejected coins can be collected by motorists.

SOME FIVE CENT coins could be causing problems at the East Link toll due to the quality of copper.

While all toll plazas in Ireland round the toll rates to the nearest 10 cent, the East Link “is a bit unique in the fact that the toll rates are rounded to the nearest five cent at €1.75 for cars as per the bye-laws” Dublin County Council told TheJournal.ie.

The coin machines at East Link toll bridge (or the Ringsend Toll Bridge) are the same tolling machines being used at various toll plazas in Ireland and around Europe, said the council.

Toll of €1.75

However, when asked by TheJournal.ie if there were any incidences where the self-service machine has not recognised the coins amounting to the full toll of €1.75 – and if additional money had been requested for before lifting the barrier, the council said:

“The Ringsend Toll Bridge experience varying quality in the copper content of the 5 cents produced especially from outside Ireland. This is the reason why some 5c coins are rejected.

“When a coin is put into the machine it will automatically carry out a number of checks on the coin to determine the weight, size and metal content. If the coin does not meet the required specifications it will reject the coin. This will occur with a coin that is damaged or dirty or a foreign coin. This is the same process for any type of vending machine.”

It said it did not accept that customers had been overcharged, stating that any rejected coins can be collected by motorists.

The council said any coins rejected by the machine are returned via a slot below the basket, which is clearly marked: REJECTED COIN.

This enables the customer to retrieve the faulty coin and to put a different coin in the machine.  The operator in the toll booth next to the automatic lane and the supervisor in the control room proactively respond to any customers with issues or difficulties in the lane. Customers can either retrieve the coin or wait for assistance.

Dublin City Council pointed out that the toll machines are maintained as part of a preventative maintenance routine on a weekly basis.

Toll used as revenue stream for Dublin City Council

Last year, Dublin’s East Link Bridge came back into public ownership after the thirty year lease ended.

However, instead of ending the charging of drivers using the bridge, Dublin City Council said it was going to keep the toll as a revenue stream.

This decision attracted criticism from Conor Faughnan of the AA, who said motorists are already contributing huge amounts of revenue through road tax, VRT and VAT. He said there was “no justification” for keeping the toll and questioned why the East Link bridge should continue having a toll.

Last year, the toll revenue taken by the council was €10.3 million.

A total of €3.3 million came from cash/coins at the automatic coin machine lanes  - which accounts for approximately 10% of all traffic.

The majority of drivers using the toll bridge are cashless and pay by tag.

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