Republic of Ireland news

Toll charge increases on Republic's motorways deferred for six months

Dublin's M50 bridge over the Liffey was the first road of this type anywhere in Ireland
Gráinne Ní Aodha, PA

The Irish Government is to intervene to defer increases in toll charges on eight motorways for six months.

It is understood the increases will be delayed until July 1, at a cost of 12.5 million euro.

Tolls were set to rise from January 1 to their maximum rate due to an increase in inflation, which provoked anger from politicians as citizens grapple with the surging cost of living this winter.

The Government had said there had not been an increase in toll charges for nine years due to low rates of inflation, but it vowed to examine the looming rises after the issue was raised at Cabinet last week.

Explaining the increases, Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) said legislation links toll costs to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Figures show the CPI rose by 9.2% between October 2021 and October this year, up from an annual increase of 8.2% in the 12 months to September.

The state agency outlined the increases across various motorways, depending on the vehicle.

On six motorways, the toll for cars was to increase by 10 cent to 2.10 euro, with a 30-cent rise for buses and articulated lorries, bringing the cost up to 3.80 euro.

Tolls on the M3 were to increase by 10 cent for cars, buses and lorries, to 1.60, 2.40 and 2.40 euro respectively.

The M4 was set for 20 cent toll increases for cars, bringing the cost to 3.20 euro, and a 40 cent increase for buses and articulated lorries – bringing the price to 4.90 euro.

TII said there is “no justification” for toll increases at the Port Tunnel in 2023.

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue said the Government is striking the “appropriate balance” of recognising the cost pressures the public are under.

“I think it’s striking the right balance in terms of recognising the prospect, particularly the prospect over the next few months, where people’s energy levels are higher and dealing with the issue,” he added.