No plan for tolls on new M9
The Government has “no plans” to toll the new M9 Dublin to Waterford motorway which opened to traffic this afternoon.
Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey said the road
would be the only inter-urban motorway in the State without tolls. He said imposing the charge had been considered but rejected as not “commercially viable" due to the low traffic volumes on the route.
A spokesman for the National Roads Authority (NRA) said private investors had contributed funds some of the State's other motorways “which they would get back over a 30-year span by tolling”.
However, the projected light volume of traffic on the M9 had failed to attract any private investment and the road was funded “entirely by the taxpayer”.
The Minister today opened the final, €467 million, 40km section of the motorway, which traverses Co Kilkenny and reduces the journey time from the Red Cow interchange on the M50 in Dublin to Waterford to about 90 minutes.
Drivers will bypass towns and villages such as Paulstown, Dungarvan, Gowran, Thomastown, Stoneyford and Knocktopher. A 6km link road connects the motorway to Kilkenny City.
Motorways linking Dublin to Cork and Galway have already opened and the M7 to Limerick is expected to be completed “within months”.
Asked if the overall €1.2 billion cost of the M9 was justified, Mr Dempsey replied: “These roads are built not just for now, not for the next 20 years, but for the next 100 years."
He said the State had to have the requisite infrastructure to cater for a resumption of economic growth.