herald

Sunday 22 October 2017

More headaches for M50 toll road users as fines sent in error

FRUSTRATED drivers are encountering further headaches with the new M50 tolling system, it was revealed today.

Despite purchasing a tag on September 1 for €30, one irate driver still received a fine in the post from eFlow.

Many other drivers have yet to receive their tags from eFlow to allow them to go over the toll bridge.

Brendan Earls, a builder working in Dublin, purchased a pre-paid tag from TollTag.ie.

He paid €30 upfront at a shop in Navan, which would entitle him to 15 trips across the bridge.

Beeped

"I went online and registered the tag, it was all fine," he said. "I drove over the bridge at 4.15am in the morning, and the tag beeped.

"I thought -- that's grand, that's paid for. Lo and behold, I received a bill in the post," he revealed.

He said he would not pay the amount they were demanding.

"They can do what they like with me, they can send me to jail, but I'm not paying," he said.

A customer service representative from eFlow said: "There have been some difficulties with tags not being picked up by the system at the moment."

As a result of inquiries from the Herald, Mr Earls received confirmation that he will not be fined for this oversight.

Meanwhile, eFlow have also stated that there are delays in sending out tags to customers.

"There have been some delays, and people have been phoning up to say they had not yet received their tag. But there has been a big backlog," a customer service representative said. But they said that customers can use the system if they have registered their licence plate online.

Sean O'Neill from the National Roads Authority (NRA) confirmed that there were some difficulties in the first period of operation.

"The system is still working out the tweaks. There have been some difficulties with the computers reading the figures 0 and 8 on registration plates," said Sean O'Neill.

"We are going to have challenges, but with half-a-million people passing through the tolls per week, we are doing quite well," he said.

Mr O'Neill said that there were seven different companies selling the tags but that NRA would be contacting the individual operators about issues such as these.

"We will be investigating all queries like this and make sure that all companies are fulfilling their obligations," he said.

Operator eFlow confirmed that anyone who hadn't paid up in time would be charged a €3 penalty. If they refused to pay within 14 days, they would incur a €40 fine. If, after 56 days the customer had not paid, there would be an extra €100 charge. The issue would then be passed to the small claims court.

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