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New tolls another blow to motorists – Ellis

19 July, 2011 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Speaking in response to news that new tolls are to be introduced to motorways across the 26 counties, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport Dessie Ellis described the move as “an unfair revenue-raising measure to pay for the wrong headed approach to infrastructure pursued by the previous governments and supported by Fine Gael.”

Deputy Ellis said;

“Motorists paid for the M50 Motorway many times over through tolls paid to the private company National Toll Roads (NTR) over a period of eighteen years. The ownership of the road is now in the hands of the state but they continue to enforce tolls on taxpayers to subsidise the private company hired to manage the motorway. People are being asked to pay again and again.

“This can do nothing but damage to business and job creation as it makes it more expensive for people to get to work and business to deliver goods.

“It is also a fact that this money raised will not go to funding better roads, or maintaining them but will go into the pocket of the private companies operating these roads who are being subsidised by the state to the tune of hundreds of thousands of euro a month in the case of the M3 and N18 alone. This is due to falling traffic numbers which this measure will only worsen.

“The government must learn the lessons that the failure of PPP should have taught their predecessors. It is vital Minister Varadkar recognises this when he sits down in September to decide on the capital projects currently being considered.”

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