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Battle to control new M50 tolls

A PLAN to increase tolling on the M50 is gaining ground - with the NRA receiving expressions of interest in a contract to introduce new tolls.

The National Roads’ Authority confirmed to the Herald that they had already received interest in the consultancy contract, which was advertised a fortnight ago.

The contract will require the successful applicant to “assess and introduce new toll points/ regimes and, if necessary, identify changes to existing toll arrangements to facilitate such new toll points and operations”.

CRIPPLE

The plans will mean thousands of additional drivers will be hit with charges right across the country with eight separate tolling locations on the M50.

Hauliers and exporters have called on the Minister for Transport to have “serious” discussions over the plans.

Both the Irish Road Haulage Association and the Irish Export Association told the Herald they were worried about the potential effects the measures would have on the export industry.

Eoin Gavin, president of the Irish Road Haulage Association, said that the measures would “cripple” members.

“We estimate that the proposals would put an extra €100m in costs on the export industry each year. There’s no doubt that our members would have to increase the prices they charge.

“We, along with the Irish Export Association, are calling on the minister to set up a taskforce to look closely at what is best for both the consumer and the exporter.”

Sean Daly, of Frank Daly Transport told the Herald that the planned measures will “cripple” the company.

“We paid almost €65,000 last year on tolls which is the equivalent to two employees. How can this government expect to cream us for anymore?

“It’s just unbelievable that companies like us, who employ 65 staff and have let nobody go, are the ones that are being targeted. We won’t stand for the measures if they go ahead. We simply won’t pay.”