Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport, Darren O’Rourke TD, has called on the Minister for Transport to intervene in relation to an announcement that tolls prices across the state are set to increase to their maximum permitted level.
The Meath East TD said;
“This is another blow to motorists, coming at a time of record fuel prices.
“Workers and families are struggling to get by, and these toll increases are going to really hurt commuters.
“Tolls disproportionally impact those living in rural areas, who are forced to use a private car as the public transport options simply aren’t there.
“These lucrative PPP contracts for toll roads have been a loser for the state year-on-year.
“During the pandemic, the taxpayer had to step in and pay toll operators millions because there weren’t enough cars on the road.
“Now, due to these gold-plated Fianna Fáil era contracts, motorists will be forced to fork out even more.
“It’s not lost on people that their wages don’t go up in line with inflation, but the government has ensured the profits of toll operators do.
“Last month the M3 toll operator alone announced a profit of €11m. These firms aren’t struggling to get by, these toll increases are all about protecting private profit.
“In addition to heaping more financial misery on motorists, these toll increases will divert traffic off main roads and onto smaller roads, which is more dangerous and less efficient.
“The Minister for Transport needs to intervene here.
“These increases should not go ahead. In addition, we also need a review of the toll policy on our roads, with a focus on how it’s diverting traffic to smaller roads, causing congestion and road safety issues.”