Saturday 19 August 2017

Emergency service bikers have to pay their own tolls

Blood Bikes were considering withdrawing their services this week due to the toll charges. (Stock photo)
Blood Bikes were considering withdrawing their services this week due to the toll charges. (Stock photo)
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

A voluntary biker emergency service that helps deliver blood and essential supplies to hospitals and medical centres has to pay its own tolls.

The Blood Bikes service is run free of charge by a raft of volunteer motorcycle riders who give their time to the life-saving service all year.

But they were considering withdrawing their services this week due to the toll charges.

However, Easytrip, which provides electronic parking and tolling tags, has undertaken to pick up the tab for now.

Blood Bikes is a registered not-for-profit charity and depends entirely on public and private donations.

Ambulances that perform the same delivery service can pass through tolls without charge.

Now the Government is being asked to intervene, while it is understood toll operators have been contacted too.

Easytrip's Ciaran Doyle says: "We hope Blood Bikes will be made exempt. In the interim we are more than happy to cover their tolls to ensure their service continues."

Fergus Lennon, of Blood Bikes Leinster, adds: "Our service is about the speed we can deliver.

"We were facing having to extend our journey times to avoid tolled roads, effectively putting lives at risk, but we don't have to any more thanks to Easytrip."

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