M50 Toll Proposals

The National Roads Authority (NRA) wants to multi-toll the M50. The purpose of the original toll on the M50 was to allow a PPP with National Toll Roads to charge a fee to cross the West Link Bridge over the Liffey. Currently 110,000 use the M50 daily. If the new tolls were introduced at multiple points it is likely that more money would accrue.

Currently €95million is collected per year at a collection cost of €20 million – source Conor Faughnan of the AA on Q102 at 6.15 today. This money could supply a new Luas every 5 years. What a bunch of wasters. I heard that genius Noel Dempsey talk about the M50 today in a way that suggests that he forgot about the original reason for the toll. From the M50, about 488,000 cases have been sent to debt collectors. 38 million journeys were made last year.

I think that tolling is a stupid and inefficient way to collect tax money. The provision of infrastructure benefits everyone and the service is available to everyone with a car. So why not just levy the toll receipts equivalent by adding a little to fuel – petrol and diesel. Non-users have the availability of the service whenever they may choose to use it.

Conor Faughnan says that without the recent tax hikes petrol would be €1.17 per litre instead of €1.32 per litre. Recently, 8 cents/L was added to excise duty and 5 cents/L for a carbon tax plus VAT in each case. He says that we should have a differential with Northern Ireland in our favour to increase the cross border tax switch and consequently it is too late now to add more to the costs because it may cause the trade to switch the opposite way.

By the way, my motion to extend the time to pay on the M50 from 8 pm on the day after the journey was made to one week was rejected by the NRA CEO. I think that they are an anti-social disgrace and are a microcosm of the under-accountable quangocracy so beloved of the Fianna Fail political funk culture.

If the toll remains unpaid the following day, it is increased to €6 and if after 14 days unpaid this is increased by €39.50 to €45.50. If not paid within 56 days the total soars to €143.50.

This tolling fetish discriminates against those forced to commute long distances. Many of these are victims of the government’s bad planning record and failed special strategy. It will have the local effect of incentivising the use of secondary roads as has already happened at the M3 with two tolls between Blanchardstown and Kells.

However, it is likely that again the wrong decisions will be made.

To illustrate the blinkers on the Local Government Efficiency Review Group, they reported in July that new tolls on national roads could raise between €60 million and €100 million to pay for new roads.

The boyos are likely to impose tolls on the N2 to Ashbourne, M7 to Kildare, N11 to Wicklow, The Jack Lynch Tunnel and Southern Ring Road in Cork.

Happy Motoring Folks – I must be right. The Coalition for Common Sense must resist this nuisance that will merely coarsen our quality of life.