Tourists and taking a toll

 

Sir, – I recently arrived at Dublin Port from Holyhead, ready to drive down to the Tipperary/Limerick area. The road from the port took me through a long tunnel for which I paid a toll at the manned desk. I then joined the M50 and proceeded to junction 9, the turning for Limerick. I noticed a large purple sign between junctions 7 and 8 saying there was a toll but there was no sign of a “toll plaza”, as I learned to call them during the following week. Being more concerned with finding the correct turning to Limerick than solving this mystery, I proceeded along the M50 and thought nothing more about it. Five days later, I discovered, quite by accident, that the toll company had clocked my registration number and I was already in arrears with a fine that was inexorably expanding faster than the Irish economy during the years of the Celtic Tiger. The eFlow website does not say what provision is made for tourists but the cashier at the till of the garage where I eventually paid the fine said, “They get the tourists good and proper all the time”. Actually, they get the British tourists because very few non-Brits drive over, tending to fly over and hire cars for their trip. Car-hire companies warn people hiring their vehicles but no one bothers to tell visitors arriving by ferry. – Yours, etc,

MARGARET JAMES,

Cambridge,

UK.