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Government to ensure motorists make tolling company directors rich for decades - Gallagher

16 October, 2006


Sinn Féin councillor Felix Gallagher has attacked National Toll Roads following its announcement that it will increase tolls to €1.90 from January. But the Mulhuddart councillor went on to point out that 'we can hardly blame NTR for exploiting motorists when our Government gives them the all-clear'. He predicted that with the Government committed to tolling and Public Private Partnerships that 'Irish motorists will be making the directors of tolling companies rich for decades to come'.

The Dublin West election candidate said: "With an end in sight to tolling on the West-Link, it is obvious that National Tolls Roads is determined to do whatever it can to squeeze every single cent from motorists. NTR has made profits from the Government's decision to allow them to inflict steadily increasing tolls on the M50 that can only be described as obscene.

"In 2004, the tolling section of the company recorded a gross profit of over €17 million. By 2005, this had almost doubled to just over €33 million. The proposed increase in West-Link charges will mean another €10,000 a day going into the bloated coffers of NTR. But we can hardly blame the company for exploiting motorists when our Government gives them the all-clear.

"Sinn Féin is the only party that has determinedly opposed the use of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) and tolling systems to deliver new roads. They make no long-term economic sense and result not only in increased costs for individual motorists, but reduce the positive impact of new roads as drivers stick to the older roads to avoid tolls.

"Despite this, the Government continues to be wedded to the use of PPPs and tolls on Ireland's growing road network, ensuring that Irish motorists will be making the directors of tolling companies rich for decades to come."

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