Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport, Darren O’Rourke TD, has welcomed the fact that the government has responded to political and public pressure and announced an 11th-hour deferral of toll increases for six months, but he said it does not go far enough.
The Meath East TD said:
“This 11th hour announcement is welcome, but it does not go far enough.
“The government needs to recognise we are living in a cost-of-living crisis, and workers and businesses are struggling with transport costs.
“The government’s proposal only serves to kick the can down the road and does not provide the certainty required.
“The Minister for Transport was notified about these increases on September 1st, ahead of the Budget, but he decided to do nothing about it.
“He has now had to roll back as a result of political and public pressure.
“The government had no intention of addressing these toll increases and that is why Sinn Féin brought forward our Dáil motion tonight.
“Motorists and hauliers will still be facing very high transport costs into 2023, so this deferral is only a sticking plaster.
“This entire saga highlights how generous these gold plated, Fianna Fáil era road toll contracts are and, further, how poorly successive governments have invested in roads maintenance and upkeep.
“The government should use the next six months to assess the funding for our roads network and review the value for money of these PPP contracts.”