M50 toll fines to reach €100 million in first 12 months

 

POTENTIAL INCOME from toll fees and fines on Dublin’s M50 is in the order of €180 million in the 12 months to August, the National Roads Authority (NRA) has confirmed.

The figures include a projected €100 million income from toll fines, the level of which has surprised the National Roads Authority.

The €100 million windfall is in addition to the expected €80 million a year revenue from tolls themselves.

The toll for a car that is not registered and does not have a toll tag is €3. Unregistered car drivers who don’t pay the toll before 8pm on the day following travel face a penalty of €3, in addition to the original toll charge.

Those who fail to pay the toll and the €3 penalty within the next 14 days face a further penalty of €41.50.

Failure to pay the full amount within a further 56 days results in an additional €101.50 fine.

After this the matter is referred to solicitors.

NRA communications manager Seán O’Neill last night confirmed the projected income for the first year of the operation of barrier-free tolling, which began in August 2008.

Mr O’Neill said he believed people would switch very quickly to pre-paid accounts once it was realised the amount fines are costing. The authority was not in business to make such large sums from fines, he maintained.

An average week-day traffic of about 100,000 vehicles now use the former “West-Link” facility.

Of the 100,000 vehicles a day some 25,000 have not registered for either tag or video accounts with automatic payment facilities making them liable to pay at least €3 by 8pm on the evening following travel.

Just half, or 12,500 motorists, pay the €3 on time, leaving the other 12,500 motorists facing a fine of €3 in addition to the toll.

Excluding up to 3,000 journeys a day which are made by foreign- registered vehicles, this leaves about 9,500 vehicles a day which must pay a €3 fine.

However, 4,000 of these motorists fail to pay the fines within the 14-day period and they then have a further 56 days to pay an additional €41.50. The NRA says only 1,500, on average, choose to pay the fines. This leaves 2,500 motorists who face the next category of payment, a fine of €101.50.

The NRA did not supply figures for cases referred to solicitors and so any costs above the €101,50 fine category have not been included.