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Why Do Ireland's Motorways Have Tolls?

  • 01-07-2019 8:06pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 100 ✭✭ Jonathan1990


    I've seen on maps that the motorways in Ireland have tolls where you pay to travel down. Over at the UK it's free to use them. I don't know why the reason is and I'm curios to know.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,618 ✭✭✭✭ Grandeeod


    Public Private Partnerships.

    The UK has lots of motorway tolls too.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,039 ✭✭✭✭ Tell me how


    I've seen on maps that the motorways in Ireland have tolls where you pay to travel down. Over at the UK it's free to use them. I don't know why the reason is and I'm curios to know.

    It was discussed on Pat Kenny show this morning.
    Seems to have originated from a financial need to pay for the road and so a toll was placed on it.
    However, once the revenue was flowing, nobody in charge was eager to say the road was paid for and so they remained. Has led to some fairly chronic scenarios including the government having to buy back the M50 Toll from an operator for, I think, €600M or so and the current Mullingar (I think, but could be wrong) bypass hardly being used and so the town is still full of traffic due to the toll on the bypass. Due to the low traffic through the toll, the operator is being paid a penalty by the NRA because the traffic is so low. :confused:


  • Registered Users Posts: 469 ✭✭ boege


    Generally the tolls are a way of repaying loans taken out by a private company to build the road. It used to be called a public-private-partnership and the tolls were part of a toll concession scheme.

    https://www.tii.ie/roads-tolling/projects-and-improvements/ppp/

    In theory they are limited in time but as we saw with the liffey bridge down near the point, the council could not help themselves and kept some tolls when the toll contract with the private operator expired.

    As tolls go by some European standards, they are minimal.

    The UK has tools in some locations.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,039 ✭✭✭✭ Tell me how


    boege wrote: »

    As tolls go by some European standards, they are minimal.

    The UK has tools in some locations.

    Westminster for one.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,226 ✭✭✭ pablo128


    There is a toll road around Birmingham. 5 pound odd through it too.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,039 ✭✭✭✭ Tell me how


    pablo128 wrote: »
    There is a toll road around Birmingham. 5 pound odd through it too.



    That crossing is currently £5.60.


  • Registered Users Posts: 598 ✭✭✭ Mike3549


    I have a feeling you didnt travel in France.....


  • Registered Users Posts: 100 ✭✭ Jonathan1990


    Mike3549 wrote: »
    I have a feeling you didnt travel in France.....

    I believe that motorways in both France and Italy have tolls from playing the Euro Truck Simulator computer game.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,169 ✭✭✭ 1huge1


    We have one of the highest motorway networks on a per capita basis, an inter urban network serving such a "relatively" small population will be very difficult to fund from general taxation alone. As noted above, our tolls are good value by European norms.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,993 ✭✭✭ quokula


    OSI wrote: »
    Yeah alright buddy:


    Oh wait, theres:

    M6 Toll - West Midlands
    M25 - Dartford River Crossing
    M4 - Second Severn Crossing
    M48 - Severn Bridge
    A4 - Batheaston Bridge
    A15 - Humber Bridge
    A19 - Tyne Tunnels
    A38 - Tamar Bridge
    A41 - Mersey Tunnels - Queensway
    A57 - Dunham Bridge
    A59 - Mersey Tunnels - Kingsway
    A477 - Cleddau Bridge
    A533 - Mersey Gateway
    A3025 - Itchen Bridge

    That and the whole having to pay £11.50 a day for the privilege of driving in London.

    While tolls aren’t unheard of in the UK, on a per kilometre basis they are far, far rarer than Ireland. The M6 toll can be easily avoided if you take a more congested stretch of motorway, and pretty much every other example is a very large bridge or tunnel, which are usually only tolled one way, and in most of the country you can happily cover hundreds of miles without seeing one.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,668 ✭✭✭ trellheim


    PPPs with tolls were all the rage under FF. They have a use as well in encouraging certain use patterns (e.g Port Tunnel at peak hours )


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,053 ✭✭✭✭ Del2005


    quokula wrote: »
    While tolls aren’t unheard of in the UK, on a per kilometre basis they are far, far rarer than Ireland. The M6 toll can be easily avoided if you take a more congested stretch of motorway, and pretty much every other example is a very large bridge or tunnel, which are usually only tolled one way, and in most of the country you can happily cover hundreds of miles without seeing one.

    There's always a free alternative to a tolled motorway in Ireland, so you can happily cover hundreds of miles here and not see a toll.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,914 ✭✭✭ Vic_08



    That crossing is currently £5.60.

    Since late last year that toll has been removed.
    OSI wrote: »
    Yeah alright buddy:


    Oh wait, theres:

    M6 Toll - West Midlands
    M25 - Dartford River Crossing
    M4 - Second Severn Crossing
    M48 - Severn Bridge
    A4 - Batheaston Bridge
    A15 - Humber Bridge
    A19 - Tyne Tunnels
    A38 - Tamar Bridge
    A41 - Mersey Tunnels - Queensway
    A57 - Dunham Bridge
    A59 - Mersey Tunnels - Kingsway
    A477 - Cleddau Bridge
    A533 - Mersey Gateway
    A3025 - Itchen Bridge

    That and the whole having to pay £11.50 a day for the privilege of driving in London.

    The M4/48 tolls are now gone and the Dartford crossing is the A282 and is not designated as a motorway. The M6 toll is the only tolled motorway in the UK and it has a non-tolled alternative motorway route.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 13,337 Mod ✭✭✭✭ marno21


    Vic_08 wrote: »
    Since late last year that toll has been removed.



    The M4/48 tolls are now gone and the Dartford crossing is the A282 and is not designated as a motorway. The M6 toll is the only tolled motorway in the UK and it has a non-tolled alternative motorway route.

    I think he's on about the M6 Toll when he says Birmingham, which is still there as you say yourself. The alternative being the M6 through Birmingham


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 33,799 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Seth Brundle


    It was discussed on Pat Kenny show this morning.
    Seems to have originated from a financial need to pay for the road and so a toll was placed on it.
    However, once the revenue was flowing, nobody in charge was eager to say the road was paid for and so they remained. Has led to some fairly chronic scenarios including the government having to buy back the M50 Toll from an operator for, I think, €600M or so and the current Mullingar (I think, but could be wrong) bypass hardly being used and so the town is still full of traffic due to the toll on the bypass. Due to the low traffic through the toll, the operator is being paid a penalty by the NRA because the traffic is so low. :confused:
    Mullingar by-pass was never tolled.
    I reckon you're thinking of the M3 motorway.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 13,337 Mod ✭✭✭✭ marno21


    Mullingar by-pass was never tolled.
    I reckon you're thinking of the M3 motorway.

    The Limerick Tunnel and M3 have traffic shortfall guarantees where low traffic figures are made up by the NRA/TII.

    The N25 Waterford bypass has very low traffic figures but does not have a shortfall guarantee.


  • Registered Users Posts: 100 ✭✭ Jonathan1990


    I also used to have a map of Ireland showing you no motorways which was probably from 1970s and all N roads.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 386 ✭✭ radiata


    Mike3549 wrote: »
    I have a feeling you didnt travel in France.....

    I believe that motorways in both France and Italy have tolls from playing the Euro Truck Simulator computer game.
    They are expensive in France. However the 'backroads' are just as good as the motorways there unlike Ireland


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,318 ✭✭✭✭ Victor


    radiata wrote: »
    They are expensive in France. However the 'backroads' are just as good as the motorways there unlike Ireland
    No they aren't. While they may have 3-4 lanes and some grade-separated junctions, they are not motorway standard.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,210 ✭✭✭✭ Wanderer78


    I've seen on maps that the motorways in Ireland have tolls where you pay to travel down. Over at the UK it's free to use them. I don't know why the reason is and I'm curios to know.


    Tolls are extremely common all over the world, I suspect we have far less than many countries, I also suspect they are becoming more common due to our monetary systems moving away from government/central bank created money, and more towards bank created credit, effectively forcing our transport systems to create tolled roads in order to pay for them.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,721 ✭✭✭✭ cormie


    Irish tolls didn't seem so bad after this trip, Calais to Milan, around €300 total, one toll being €130 :eek:

    My van is just at the limit of being a class 2 or class 3, I used to convince a few toll operators to just charge as class 2 (like the one for €72 below), but most of them are unmanned now :(


    ewyi4l1.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,210 ✭✭✭✭ Wanderer78


    cormie wrote: »
    Irish tolls didn't seem so bad after this trip, Calais to Milan, around €300 total, one toll being €130 :eek:

    My van is just at the limit of being a class 2 or class 3, I used to convince a few toll operators to just charge as class 2 (like the one for €72 below), but most of them are unmanned now :(

    wow, i was told tolls are extremely expensive on the continent, but holy ****!


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 43,463 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    I also used to have a map of Ireland showing you no motorways which was probably from 1970s and all N roads.
    first motorway was opened in 1983, and 20 years ago there were bugger all motorways, let alone 40 years ago.
    most of the main motorways were only completed in the last 10 or 12 years.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,276 ✭✭✭ Irish Stones


    Wanderer78 wrote: »
    wow, i was told tolls are extremely expensive on the continent, but holy ****!


    The fare depends on how many km you have travelled between two toll barriers.
    Over here in Italy (but in France is just the same), you receive a ticket at the entrance barrier (just like it happens in many private pay car parks) and at the end of your travel, when you leave the motorway, you pay the distance you travelled.


    Unlike France, though, we only pay at the end of the trip, even if we switch to another motorway at a junction.
    On average it should be something like 15 cents per km.


    So a fare of €80 could be for a trip about 500-550 km long.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 4,627 Mod ✭✭✭✭ tedpan


    I've seen on maps that the motorways in Ireland have tolls where you pay to travel down. Over at the UK it's free to use them. I don't know why the reason is and I'm curios to know.


    Another troll who posts pointless topics and never replies or posts feedback.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,721 ✭✭✭✭ cormie


    The one for €130 was 553 KM, so about €0.235 per KM for class 3 on that stretch.

    I did London to Milan in one go, so it was a lot to pay in one day, went back through Germany and all I had to pay was a small toll coming out of Italy and the vignette in Austria.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,806 ✭✭✭ Beta Ray Bill


    OSI wrote: »
    Yeah alright buddy:


    Oh wait, theres:

    M6 Toll - West Midlands
    M25 - Dartford River Crossing
    M4 - Second Severn Crossing
    M48 - Severn Bridge
    A4 - Batheaston Bridge
    A15 - Humber Bridge
    A19 - Tyne Tunnels
    A38 - Tamar Bridge
    A41 - Mersey Tunnels - Queensway
    A57 - Dunham Bridge
    A59 - Mersey Tunnels - Kingsway
    A477 - Cleddau Bridge
    A533 - Mersey Gateway
    A3025 - Itchen Bridge

    That and the whole having to pay £11.50 a day for the privilege of driving in London.

    It interesting how the UK tolls bridges and tunnels and we mostly Toll Bypass's.
    Locals in turn wont use the Bypass and traffic is still appalling despite the bypass being there.

    Then the operator of the bypass claims off the government cause they aren't generating enough revenue and the government has to pay for the road anyway

    #fermoybypass
    #M8


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,797 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    grahambo wrote: »
    then the operator of the bypass claims off the government cause they aren't generating enough revenue and the government has to pay for the road anyway

    #fermoybypass
    #M8

    The Fermoy Bypass does not have a traffic guarantee

    The M3 and N18 have the only traffic guarantees. The M3 is exceeding expected traffic levels so the payment is tiny and the N18 one is reducing - the two together are about 5m a year now.

    TII reduced forward provision for these by 33m in their 2017 annual results.

    They didn't break out the revenue share from the M1 and M4 - when toll income exceeds a certain amount they have to share with TII - but a briefing note confirms that the revenue share income fully covers the traffic guarantees elsewhere: https://data.oireachtas.ie/ie/oireachtas/committee/dail/32/committee_of_public_accounts/submissions/2018/2018-03-22_briefing-note-transport-infrastructure-ireland_en.pdf


    So currently the exchequer isn't funding them at all

    edit: it does actually break out the two payments. The M3 got 67 grand in 2017 and they expect zero from 2020 on.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,299 ✭✭✭ cgcsb


    Ireland has a massive motorway network per head and we're actually expanding it despite the climate emergency, go figure. Even with the tolls our current road network is unaffordable to maintain. This is the product of the 'ruralisation policy' which saw every road in the country tarmaced and every house connected to the electricity grid, and now every house connected to fibre broadband rather than focusing on the main routes and the towns respectively.

    This policy is slowly coming to an end though.

    Aside from the cost, the tolls act as a demand management method around Dublin and at the Limerick Tunnel.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,039 ✭✭✭✭ Tell me how


    cgcsb wrote: »
    Ireland has a massive motorway network per head and we're actually expanding it despite the climate emergency, go figure. Even with the tolls our current road network is unaffordable to maintain. This is the product of the 'ruralisation policy' which saw every road in the country tarmaced and every house connected to the electricity grid, and now every house connected to fibre broadband rather than focusing on the main routes and the towns respectively.

    This policy is slowly coming to an end though.

    Aside from the cost, the tolls act as a demand management method around Dublin and at the Limerick Tunnel.

    Formulation of the 'Republic of Dublin' Thread is that way.


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