Sinn Féin spokesperson on Communications and Transport Martin Kenny TD has responded to comments made by Fianna Fáil junior minister Jack Chambers indicating that motorists are likely to suffer the consequences of poor government decision-making before the end of the year.
The Minister has admitted that toll charges are likely to rise again in January 2024.
This would account for a second increase in six months, after the increase that came into effect on July 1st last.
Speaking today, Teachta Kenny said, “I’m aware of the comments made by the Junior Minister which in my mind indicate just how out of touch the government is with hard-pressed workers and families.
“These toll roads are a necessity across the state. People use them everyday to travel to work, to bring children to school, and to attend medical appointments in different parts of the country.
“The increase which was introduced in July has the potential to cost motorists an additional €100 per year, and I have already been contacted by many commuters and businesses in regards to that increase. Now, we have an admission from the Minister that another increase is likely in January 2024, and he blamed inflation.
“The real issue here are the poorly constructed public private partnership agreements used to build these roads which were designed by previous Fianna Fáil governments.
“It is a well-accepted fact that these toll roads have more than paid for themselves a number of times over. What has not been delivered on is value for money for motorists who are being forced off the road during a cost of living crisis.
“Toll operators are free to increase costs at whim because government have refused to introduce a cap on costs, or to renegotiate these farcical contracts.
“Fianna Fáil is a senior government party who is actively overseeing decisions that are crippling motorists.
“This Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael government, supported by an out-of-touch Green Party with a fixation on forcing people off the road, are continuing a campaign aimed at stretching costs for ordinary, hard-working people across the country.”