More road tolls is an inefficient and inappropriate way of collecting more
Proposals to extend tolls to non-motorway roads make no sense in a country
like Ireland and should be scrapped immediately, according to Fine Gael
Transport Spokesman Simon Coveney TD.
Speaking after media reports of a Cabinet sign-off on plans to extend road
tolls to existing national roads, Deputy Coveney said: ‘Hard tolling of
roads is not an efficient way to raise money. The capital cost of putting
new tolls in place and the cost of staffing them is not an efficient way to
collect what is effectively a new tax’.
“While some people may make the case for hard tolling on motorways that
have been built through public private partnership, there is certainly no
case for installing new tolling booths on most existing national roads, or
on any non-national roads.
“If the Government wants to collect direct or indirect taxation from the
transport sector, there are far more efficient ways to do that than the
crude tolling method. Road tolls are expensive to implement, and
discriminate against consumers who are live or work in the tolled areas.
“Ireland has a population which is spread thinly across the country, and
which has a poor public transport infrastructure. If you’re going to charge
for the use of a road, there needs to be an alternative transport option
for the road user through public transport, or an alternative route.
Neither option is available in most parts of Ireland.”