TRANSPORT Minister Leo Varadker has conceded that multiple tolls on the M50 are on the cards despite saying there were no plans for such charges just six months ago.
The comments come after a paper was published by his department aimed at making the transport sector less polluting and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
But he stressed that the public transport network would need to be improved so that more people could avail of it before any such charges could be introduced.
In June, Mr Varadker said he had no plans to introduce new tolling points on the M50, as proposed in a draft report by the National Roads Authority.
He said the Climate Change Mitigation paper is a “consultation document on the low carbon future and how we make the transition from an oil and diesel based economy to a low carbon economy over the next 20 or 30 years”.
“If taxing people out of their cars were a solution it would have worked by now because the price of petrol has gone up phenomenally in the last couple of years. You need to have the alternatives in place first. You can't preach to people unless those alternatives are in place,” added Mr Varadker.
But asked if he could see taxes and the M50 tolls increasing in the future he said: “Yeah, maybe down the line. It is kind of in the long-term plans to have multi-point tolling on the M50.
“I don't favour it personally because I think it will solve a problem on the M50 only by creating one on the axis roads onto the M50.”
Ireland has to meet EU targets to reduce overall carbon emissions by 20pc by 2020.