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Traffic on the M50 in Dublin. Alamy Stock Photo
heavy toll

Car tolls on M50 to increase by up to 30c, tolls on eight other roads rising by smaller amounts

The rise will come into effect in July after the Government delayed the planned increase for six months.

TOLL CHARGES ON the M50 and eight other motorways are set to increase on 1 July as the Government’s six-month delay of the planned rise comes to an end. 

Tolls were set to rise from 1 January to their maximum rate due to an increase in inflation.

However, the move provoked anger from politicians due to the cost-of-living crisis, and the Government agreed to delay the rise until 1 July, at a cost to the exchequer of €12.5 million.

In a statement, Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) has confirmed that tolls on the country’s national road network will increase from 1 July.

TII said the increases are driven by the current rate of inflation (CPI), which was at 8.6% between August 2021 and August 2022.

There are ten toll roads on the national road network – eight are operated under a “Public Private Partnership” (PPP) model and two are operated directly on behalf of TII, the M50 and Dublin Port Tunnel.

Tolls on M50 will increase by 30c for cars without tag or video accounts, bringing the charge to €3.50.

Drivers with a tag or video account will each see a 20c increase to €2.30 and €2.90, respectively.

Screenshot (273) The planned toll increases for the M50. TII TII

TII pointed out that there has not been an increase in toll charges for registered cars with tags for ten years.

There will be no increase in tolls for the Port Tunnel.

The Tom Clarke Bridge in Dublin does not come under today’s announcement from TII as it’s run by Dublin City Council. Last December, councillors agreed to defer planned toll increases for the bridge – formerly known as the East Link – to 2024.

Tolls for cars travelling on the M1, M7, M8, N6, N25 at Waterford and N18 Limerick Tunnel will increase from €2 to €2.10. 

Screenshot (274) The planned increases for the other motorways. TII TII

On the M3, car tolls will increase by 10c to €1.60, while on the M4, there will be an increase of 20c to €3.20.

TII said revenue generated from tolls is used for “motorway maintenance, toll collection and operations, and for the maintenance of the wider national road network”. 

Speaking on Newstalk’s The Hard Shoulder this afternoon, president of the Irish Road Haulage Association Eugene Drennan said the increase was “very large”. 

“Our tolls are going up between 50 and 60 cents each today,” he said.

“It is a very large sum of money and we are the essential supply lines in the country. It is extra taxation on people who never use the road because when we’re charged, we have to pass some of it on at least.

“Yes it’s right, and the government was fair at the start of the year in holding back on it because of the cost of living crisis, but it’s given by TII because of the inflation and inflation has receded substantially and it’s on the way down.”

Drennan said the cost should be halved or scrapped altogether following a review in September.

“For us, we’d like to see a bit of fairness and balance, and we’re not seeing it in this,” he added.

“The other thing of course, the M50 is paid for. Why are we paying again?”

‘Massive blow’

Reacting to the announcement, Sinn Féin transport spokesperson Martin Kenny said the increases are a “massive blow to hard-pressed workers and families, coming in the middle of a cost of living crisis”. 

“Motorists are struggling to get by, and these toll increases are going to really hurt commuters,” he said.

“Tolls disproportionately impact those living in rural areas, who are forced to use a private car as the public transport options simply don’t exist.

“These lucrative gold-plated contracts for toll roads have been a loser for the State year-on-year.”

Kenny said it was “scandalous” that the government has done nothing in the six months “since Sinn Féin forced their hand as a result of a motion we brought to the Dáil”.

“We had sought an assessment of the funding of our roads network and a review of the value for money of these PPP contracts. In addition to heaping more financial misery on motorists, these toll increases will divert traffic off main roads and onto smaller roads, which is more dangerous and less efficient.

“The Minister for Transport needs to intervene here. He can’t sit in his hands once again. These increases should not go ahead.”

Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín said the decision is “extremely badly timed”.

“There appears to be no effort to stagger the scrapping of measures as they relate to the cost of living,” he said.

“Last week we had the excise duties returning to normal and pushing up the cost of diesel and petrol, this week we learn tolls will be going up next month – I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this confirmation of the toll increase came during the Dáil recess.”

Tóibín said that many people are commuting “up to three hours a day and they are paying thousands of euro in tolls to do so”.

“There are 4 Tolls in County Meath. Someone living in Kells or Cavan and working in south Dublin can be hit for €3,600 a year just on tolls,” he said, adding that Aontú research has shown that commuters have paid €1.2 billion in tolls on the M50 toll in the last nine years.

He called for the M50 toll to be scrapped, and for “a reduction in toll prices across the country, given the cost of living crisis”.

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