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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 14 November, 2018
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Dublin councillors vote for East Link toll to stay in place

The charge could have been lifted from the end of next year, when the bridge transfers back into the council’s ownership.

Image: Photocall Ireland

DUBLIN CITY COUNCILLORS have voted to back recommendations from officials and keep the toll in place at the East Link Bridge.

Built in 1984 under a deal between Dublin Corporation, Dublin Port and private company National Toll Roads — the bridge reverts back to the city on 31 December 2015.

The tolls charged at the bridge generated €4.2 million in profit last year, but under the terms of the 30-year-old agreement the council received just a fraction of that amount.

Councillors decided in a vote last night to keep the tolling operation in place when the arrangement comes to an end.

Several members spoke against the move, but other councillors raised concerns that lifting the toll could lead to a huge influx in traffic in the Ringsend area.

“My feeling was we shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth,” Transport Committee member Paddy McCartan told TheJournal.ie.

“We need this funding, we need any funding we can get. It could be used for transport in other areas or it could be used for other projects.”

McCartan said no decision had been made as yet on whether to keep the current pricing structure in place and that a vote on that issue would be held at a later date.

In a report sent to councillors ahead of last night’s meeting, City Engineer Michael Philips had recommended keeping the toll in place.

It’s expected Dublin City Council will seek a contractor to operate the toll and provide the tolling facilities from 1 January 2015, and that the existing staff there will have transfer of employment rights.

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