Govt’s ‘nonsense plan’ for more road tolls should be scrapped – Coveney

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More  road tolls is an inefficient and inappropriate way of collecting more
tax

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.”