Sunday 8 December 2019

Irish motorist evaded toll 26 times in one week

Wesley Stokes (19) did not pay the €1.90 charge on a single occasion
Wesley Stokes (19) did not pay the €1.90 charge on a single occasion

Barry Duggan

A motorist drove through a toll bridge 26 times during one week without paying the €1.90 charge on a single occasion.

Wesley Stokes (19) of Curragh Birin, Castletroy, Limerick was arrested on August 20 last at his address by Garda Ciarain McCarthy.

He appeared in Limerick District Court yesterday where he was charged with allegedly causing €800 worth of damage to a toll barrier near the Limerick tunnel at Coonagh on August 17 last.

The court heard that In reply to that charge, the accused said: "I'm sorry, I will pay for it."

He was also charged with dishonestly making off without payment having obtained the service 26 times between August 12 and 18 last.

Solicitor John Herbert said that it was his instruction that the accused had €50 in cash with him, "to go the majority of the way to cover the expense of the tolls".

Judge O'Kelly asked if the 19-year-old was entering a plea in relation to the matters, but Mr Herbert said that he had to take full instruction and sought an adjournment for one week.

The National Roads Authority is empowered by the Local Government (Toll Roads) Act, 1979 to charge and collect tolls for the use of certain roads by vehicles.

Before a toll may be imposed on a road, a by-law under the Act must be passed.

All toll roads in Ireland, with the exception of the M50 eFlow Barrier around Dublin are managed by means of conventional barrier operated toll plaza.

Major new road developments in Ireland are now undertaken and funded through Public Private Partnership (PPP). This means that part of the funding for road building and maintenance comes from public sources and part of the funding comes from private commercial sources.

Certain vehicles in Ireland are exempt from toll charges. These include vehicles belonging to and used for official purposes by the Defence Forces, vehicles used by An Garda Siochana, fire brigade vehicles and ambulances.

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