TOLLS SET TO STAY OR IT’S A €7M PAY-OFF
There was disappointing news for Drogheda this week as Minister for Transport Shane Ross confirmed the tolls on the Donore Road are here to stay.
The Minister had visited the site in recent weeks and there were hopes the toll, which applies to anyone entering and exiting the town at the Donore Road, might be removed.
However, responding to a recent parliamentary question tabled on behalf of Senator Ged Nash, the Minister said: ‘There is no provision under legislation by which I could review toll charges such as those in the M1.’ Senator Nash has criticised the recent visit which he described as nothing more than ‘a photo opportunity’. ‘The Dail record now confirms that the purpose of Minister Ross’s recent visit to the toll ramp was exactly what I thought it was at the time; a compete waste of time and nothing but a photo opportunity to placate his local colleagues,’ said Senator Nash. ‘In his reply he states clearly and categorically that he does not have the power to remove the toll, and even if he did that he would not ‘underwrite’ the loss of income that would arise for the toll company in the event that the ramp tolling on the Donore interchange was lifted. ‘The bottom line is that he has ruled out paying out €7 million or more in taxpayers money to lift the toll, claiming that the only way the toll company could be compensated for doing so would be to hike the mainline toll by up 60% which would leave this toll at a cost of over €3 per journey for the regular motorist. He appears to have come to these conclusions based on a 2012 study which he says was updated this very year and remains valid.’
The Senator went on to say he has ‘no confidence’ that the Minister will do anything to mitigate the impact of the toll on local residents and businesses.
The Donore Road toll.