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€3.3 million in M50 tolls went unpaid in 2012. Haydn West/PA Archive/Press Association Images

M50 tolls worth €3.3 million written off in 2012

The Minister for Transport said that he didn’t see a way in which the millions could be recouped.

UNPAID M50 TOLLS totalling €3.3 million were written off in 2012, documents released to the Public Accounts Committee have revealed.

The figures revealed that Irish vehicles accounted for 57 per cent of the non-payments, with a further 28 per cent from Northern Ireland. The remaining 15 per cent of vehicles had been registered internationally.

Approximately 15,000 legal demand letters had been sent out in attempts to recoup the payment, in addition to over 6,000 civil summons.

The National Roads Authority said that they adopted a “prudent cost effective approach when pursuing vehicles from foreign counties”, and that this was done via a company based in London.

The Minister for Transport, Leo Varadkar, told Morning Ireland that 96 per cent of M50 tolls for the year had, in fact, been paid, and that he wasn’t aware of any extra measures that could be taken in order to recoup the money.

‘Sometimes it’s just not possible’

“Sometimes it’s just not possible [to collect the tolls],” he said. “Sometimes a driver cant be traced. Sometimes a driver may be deceased, for example, and sometimes it may not make sense to pursue them in the courts.”

The transport minister said that drivers had been pursued for payment in Ireland, the UK, and further afield, saying that tolls needed to be paid in order to pay for the “infrastructure that we’re using.”

People get very annoyed if they have the idea that other people are avoiding tolls or are somehow getting away with not paying their tolls. I know that annoys me too.

Read: Varadkar urges local authorities to focus on road maintenance >

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