Increase in Irish road tolls deferred for six months

Decision will cost State €12.5m to cover lost revenue for TII and toll road operators

toll roads

The planned increase in road tolls is to be delayed for six months.

The decision to defer the rise was agreed by the three Coalition leaders on Monday evening.

It is understood it will cost the State €12.5 million to cover lost revenue for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) and the toll road operators arising from the delay.

It was revealed earlier this month that tolls on the M50 and eight public-private partnership roads were to increase from January 1st 2023.

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Toll receipts are used to cover the cost of maintaining roads and planned increase is to take account of inflation.

The increases have now been delayed until July 1st.

Tolls on the TII-operated M50 will increase by 30c for cars without tags or video accounts, bringing the toll paid to €3.50. There will be no change to the Port Tunnel which is also operated by TII.

On seven of the eight public-private partnership routes tolls for cars will increase by 10c while on the M4 there will be an increase of 20c for cars. The maximum toll increase is set by the rate of inflation and earlier this month TII announced it was eeking the maximum allowable increase of just over 9 per cent to cover rising costs.

The proposed increases and their timing in the context of cost of living pressures have caused division in Government.

The timing was criticised by Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar while Green Party leader and Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan indicated in interviews that he accepted the increases.

The decision to defer the increases comes ahead of an appearance by TII later on Tuesday before the Oireachtas Committee on Transport on Tuesday evening.

The State agency’s chief executive Peter Walsh is to outline the potential consequences of deferring planned increases in tolls. He will say that toll charges are set relative to inflation and how Ireland is currently in a period of high inflation and that the bylaws for toll roads provide for the charges to be reviewed annually.

That meeting takes place at the same time as the Dáil is debating a Sinn Féin motion calling for the increases to be scrapped.

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn is a Political Correspondent at The Irish Times