More tolls proposed for Irish motorways

By The Helpful Engineer / On / In Infrastructure

Road toll booth

A recent report recommends adding additional tolls booths to Irish motorways as a way to generate additional revenue for the Government. I think this is wrong for the following reasons:

  • Motorways are the safest type of roads for carrying traffic. Adding tolls will simply divert some traffic on to the poorer quality local roads thus leading to more accidents.
  • In the vicinity of Dublin the motorways can be busy, but elsewhere are relatively traffic free. It seems counterproductive to tax the traffic using these roads and thereby reduce volumes further.
  • Unlike other more centrally located countries in the EU, Ireland has very little if any ‘passing through’ traffic. Therefore the revenue collected by tolls could much efficiently and fairly collected by using a tax levied on fuel. Although Irish fuel taxes are probably too high already.
  • Suggesting to put additional tolls on Dublin’s ring road the M50, as suggested, is strange considering there is no alternative route other than driving through the city. The French refuse to toll ring roads and this seems very sensible.