6,000 toll dodgers ordered to appear in court
ALMOST 6,000 motorists have been ordered to appear in court after refusing to pay the M50 toll.
And yesterday the National Roads Authority (NRA) revealed that almost 15pc of the €96.5m generated from the lucrative cash cow last year came from fines.
An analysis of the first full year of operation of the country's only barrier-free motorway also shows traffic volumes and revenue are way ahead of forecasts, with tolling revenue up almost 25pc.
The NRA had estimated that 89,000 vehicles a day would use the motorway, 4,000 less than the current figure. It also expected to generate €80m in tolls in a full year -- instead, the figure hit €96.5m last year when tolls and fines for non-payment are included.
But almost half a million drivers of Irish-registered vehicles have tried to avoid paying the €3 toll, only stumping up when threatened with legal action by solicitors acting on behalf of the authority.
One driver has been forced to pay €1,671 for repeatedly using the motorway without paying the toll.
"A number of these cases were closed following payment," the NRA said. "During 2009 approximately 35,500 progressed to the civil summons stage of the enforcement process. These cases were consolidated down to 5,887 individual civil summons, that is 35,500 journeys equated to 5,887 toll evaders. Some 2,000 of these were progressed further through the courts."