Toll Roads And The NRA

 

Sir, - Donal O'Lochlainn's letter of July 17th postulates that tolling of the proposed Fermoy-Rathcormac section of the N8 Dublin to Cork route will result in excessive payments to a toll concession company.

It is important in expressing such concerns that the supporting information is factually correct. While his letter does refer to our projection that revenues from tolling in the opening year would be £10.9 million, it omits to mention the operating cost of the tolling facilities, estimated at £2.2 million per year, or the millions of pounds that must be invested in annual maintenance and renewal work.

In addition, the stated figure of £1.23 billion of toll revenue in today's terms is totally erroneous and misleading. The scheme is anticipated to provide only a fraction of that sum in present value terms.

The facts of the situation are that toll revenue on its own would not pay for the construction and operation of the proposed motorway, and a substantial subsidy from public funds will be necessary to make this a viable project. A competitive tender procedure, designed to ensure a value for money process, will be used to select the concession company. The objective of this public/private partnership approach is to accelerate the delivery of vital infrastructure through the harnessing of private sector skills and efficiencies, thereby providing overall cost savings and higher quality roads over the longer term. - Yours, etc.,

Michael Egan, Head of Corporate Affairs, National Roads Authority, St Martin's House, Waterloo Road, Dublin 4.

This letter appeared in yesterday's editions, but the figures quoted contained errors which occurred in the transmission process.