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A sign with current M50 tolls Shutterstock
toll charge

Govt may call for toll price hikes to be scrapped, minister says

Junior Minister Hildegarde Naughton said that the timing of the price hikes was ‘not good’.

CONVERSATIONS ABOUT DELAYING or scrapping the toll price hikes announced earlier this week need to be had by the Government, junior minister Hildegarde Naughton has said.

On Thursday, toll road operator Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) announced that it would be hiking toll prices on nine roads in line with inflation, with the M50 toll set to rise by 20 or 30 cent.

Speaking to reporters at the Fine Gael Ard Fheis, Minister of State at the Department of Transport Hildegarde Naughton said that the decision to increase the toll charge was made by the TII and that the Government believed it to be poor timing.

“Certainly from the government’s point of view, the timing of this is not good when we’re looking at cost of living measures,” Naughton said, adding that there will be engagement between the TII and the Government.

When asked if the Government would ask the TII to either delay or scrap the increase, Naughten said: “I think these are conversations that really need to happen now.”

“What we don’t want to do is give with one hand and be taking with another, so these conversations have to happen in relation to how we can manage this.”

In a statement earlier this week, TII defended the M50 toll increase, saying that deferring the increase would have lead to funding from other roads being reallocated.

“The M50 is a user pay funded motorway, through a barrier-free tolling system. TII is required under legislation to maintain a safe and efficient network of national roads and the M50 toll funds the maintenance and operation of the M50.”

“A deferment of the toll increase on the M50 would have required funding to be reallocated from other national road projects and reduce funding for asset management and renewal activities.”

Tadgh McNally will be following all the latest events at the Fine Gael Ard Fheis in Athlone. Get all the updates by following @TadghMcN and @thejournal_ie on Twitter.

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