Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport, Darren O’Rourke TD, has announced the party will bring forward a motion this week to scrap planned toll road price hikes.
The motion will be debated in the Dáil on Tuesday.
Teachta O’Rourke said:
“Sinn Féin will this week bring forward a motion in the Dáil mandating the government to scrap planned road toll price hikes. The price hikes will hit people’s pockets at a time when their finances are already under unprecedented pressure due to the cost of living crisis. These price hikes must not go ahead.
“Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan has made it absolutely clear that he has no interest in bringing toll operators to heel, and is abdicating his responsibilities. He needs to take his head out of the clouds, and he must bring all possible pressure to bear on toll road operators and to scrap price hikes.
“These private companies are already making millions of euro in profit, so how can they, or Transport Infrastructure Ireland, justify increasing toll prices to their maximum permitted level?
“Just last month, for example, the M3 toll operator reported €11m in profit for the previous year. Continuing to pile costs onto ordinary workers and families who can’t afford them is unfair and inexcusable.
“These are people who have no alternative to use these roads – nurses, teachers and Gardaí, driving to and from work – and they are already struggling with commuting costs with diesel and petrol at record-high levels.
“Many of these commuters are reliant on their private car as government after government have failed to put sustainable alternative transport options in place. They have particularly failed Ireland’s rural communities in this regard.
“In addition, I am concerned that any increase in costs for hauliers also risks pushing food prices even higher, and it is incredible that Minister Ryan seems totally unphased by this at a time when food prices are already soaring.
“The government has a chance to stand up for drivers and back our motion. These unfair price hikes can and must be stopped.”