Road Tolls 'Not Logical' Says Kennedy

Fianna Fail Minister Michael Kennedy has slammed a recent report from a joint committee, saying it's findings that tolls on national roads should be introduced were "not logical".

The Dublin North TD, who is a member of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport, said there are serious questions to be raised around the proposal that national roads should be tolled and the funding channelled into local authorities, saying they would only raise a small amount of revenue.

Mr Kennedy said the €10 million, that tolls are predicted to generate, would be split over 26 counties amounting to €380,000 per county. He said that with the cost of erecting and manning, the tollbooths would be an added burden.

"There is no question that local authorities around the country need consistent streams of funding but the proposal put forward by the Independent Local Government Efficiency Review Group to set up tolls for our national roads is not logical at all,” said Deputy Kennedy.

He added: “I do not believe this proposal can be considered in any way; it would adversely affect communities who do not have alternative options to car travel. I will be raising this issue with my colleague the Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey T.D. I also expect that many of the proposals in the report will generate a lot of public discussion in the months ahead.”

The report by the Local Government Efficiency Review Group group last week called for more tolls on national roads as part of a package to save €500 million.

The document contains 106 recommendations totalling €511 million in savings and includes proposals for extra levies on those who do not pay their motor tax online along with the merging of local authority management.

The Minister for the Environment John Gormley is commissioning the report. He is expected to begin implementing some of its recommendations almost immediately.

Under some of the proposals expected to go ahead in the short term are the reduction in the number of county managers from 34 to 24, while ten new administrative areas will serve 20 city and county council areas. It is also proposed that senior and middle management levels be cut by up to 20%.

Social housing rents may also start to be deducted directly from social welfare payments while drivers would see the cost of a ten-year driving licence increase from €25 to €40.

Also being discussed in the report is an increase in devolution of decision making to town councils, including directly elected mayors in other cities and counties.


Related Irish News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

21 March 2024
PSNI Welcomes CJINI Inspection Report
The PSNI has welcomed the publication of the Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland (CJINI) inspection report and said that it accepts all of the recommendations that relate to the Police Service.
28 July 2011
'Hangover' Cannot Be Underestimated, Says Drinkaware
The effect of the 'Morning After' cannot be underestimated, says drinkaware.ie ahead of the August bank holiday weekend. The reality is that many people do not think about what they drank the night before when they get in the car the following morning. Fionnuala Sheehan, drinkaware.
08 April 2024
PSNI Investigating Fatal Collision Near Bready, Co Tyrone
An investigation has been launched following a fatal road traffic collision near Bready, Co Tyrone. At around 1.40pm on Sunday, 07 April, police responded to a report of a single vehicle collision on the Victoria Road. When police arrived it was discovered that a white Seat Leon had left the carriageway close to the junction with Grangefoyle Road.
05 June 2013
'No Plans For More Tolls' Says Varadker
Following reports of a proposal to add additional M50 tolls in a draft report from the National Roads Authority, minister for transport Leo Varadker has said he no plans to do so. The minister is reported by RTÉ as saying he has "concerns about multi-point tolling," adding that he does not expect congestion to increase in the short term.
23 July 2010
Report Recommends More Road Tolls
A report by a local government group has today called for more tolls on national roads as part of a package to save €500 million. The Local Government Efficiency Review Group's Cabinet approved the report, which will be published today, at its meeting in Farmleigh on Wednesday.