Thursday, March 02, 2023

Ken Foxe

A staggering €190,000 in unclaimed change was left on Irish toll roads last year, according to the latest figures from Transport Infrastructure Ireland.

However, that’s not the only issue, as the volume of unpaid tolls exceeded that amount, totaling €287,000.

Despite this, toll revenue on nine different routes came to €210 million last year, with Dublin’s M50 motorway generating an additional €170 million. The M50 was by far the most profitable route, but a bad debt charge of €5.184 million put a dent in revenue.

The M1 route connecting Dublin to Belfast was the second most lucrative, with €39 million paid out by motorists. This included around €15,000 in overpaid tolls as drivers were able to collect change on the route.

Another €22.6 million was collected on the M3 motorway, which included €48,000 that was overpaid by people using the route.

On the M4 €39 million was paid, including €30,000 in excess change left behind by motorists.

There was €23.3 million paid on the M7/M8 motorway which branches off to Cork and Limerick, according to Transport Infrastructure Ireland. Overpaid tolls made up €23,000 of that.

Another €18 million was forked out by motorists using the M8 motorway to Cork, with just €8,000 left behind in “excess tolls”.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland said toll revenue on the M6 motorway connecting Dublin and Galway was €11.9 million, with €16,000 over paid.

A further €21.9 million was paid at the Limerick Tunnel, €10.6 million on the Waterford City bypass, and €22.6 million in the Dublin Port Tunnel.

The figures also showed €287,000 in unpaid tolls across the nine routes, but further detail was not provided on which roads had the highest rates of evasion.

About 21.5 per cent of tolls are still being paid in cash by motorists, and another 17 per cent or so are paid by debit or credit card.

Just over 60 per cent of tolls are paid through an online account, and less than 1 per cent were “pre-paid”. On the M50 motorway, where cash payments are not allowed, 65 per cent of tolls were paid through an online account or by tag.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland said that toll users at each plaza were able to receive change from at least one booth/lane per direction on a 24/7 basis.

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