Toll road operators defy rules by refusing to cut fees
Motorists are being overcharged on toll roads across the country after four toll operators refused to cut their charges at the start of the year in line with tolling by-laws.
And the National Roads Authority (NRA) has said it will take court action after just one toll company reduced its charges. Under tolling by-laws, if the consumer price index falls for a 12-month period, toll operators are required to reduce their charges.
While not all tolled routes are subject to this agreement, the NRA has directed five toll operators to reduce their charges for 2011. To date, only one toll company has done so.
The NRA said that the toll firms who have not cut their charges are applying a different interpretation of the law and that it it now taking the matter to the courts.
The five tolled routes on which the NRA directed cost cuts are the M1 between Julianstown and Drogheda; the M4 between Kilcock and Kinnegad; the M6 from Galway to Ballinasloe; the M8 between Fermoy and Watergrasshill; and the N25 Waterford city bypass.
To date only the company operating the M6 Galway to Ballinasloe motorway has dropped its tolls from €1.90 to €1.80 for a car.
Chairman of the Irish Drivers' Association John Lernihan said: "We recommend that motorists don't use toll roads at all and avoid those routes if possible."