Toll charges to rise in new year
THE cost of motoring will rise in the new year as toll operators add a 10 cent charge for most vehicles.
Truck and van drivers using the M50 will be hit in the pocket, but car rates are to remain unchanged. However, it is not such good news for car owners on other routes.
Motorway tolls on the M1 at Dundalk, the Limerick Tunnel and the M4 Kinnegad to Kilcock section are all set to rise by 10 cent per category.
Motorists using the M4 Kinnegad to Kilcock and the M3 at Clonee are also set to pay an extra 10 cent per trip, although rates through Dublin's busy Port Tunnel will remain unchanged.
The increases mean charges for vans on the M50 will jump to €3.80 per trip, and up to €6.10 for four-axle trucks without toll tags.
On the M7 at Portlaoise, charges for two- and three-axle vehicles will rise to €4.60 per trip and to €5.80 for heavy trucks.
Announcing the new rates, the National Roads Authority said they were based on a Consumer Price Index formula which regulates tolls to remain in line with inflation per category of vehicle.
But the Automobile Association said that while the increase might be small, it was another argument against using toll roads and avoiding motorways that charged motorists.
The Irish Road Haulage Association also criticised the increase and called for the replacement of the current road tax with a pay-as-you-go system.
"Many drivers are already avoiding toll roads and 90pc of trucks are not using the Limerick Tunnel," said its president Eoin Gavin.
"My own toll bill is €3,000 a month and only half my fleet operates in Ireland," he added.