The Junior Minister for Transport has said that commuters cannot afford to pay higher toll rates.

Road tolls will increase to the highest charges permitted come next year.

Motorists can expect the cost of using one of Ireland’s ten toll roads on the national road network to rise by up to 60 cent each journey.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) has said that the decision has been “driven by the current rate of inflation”.

Speaking at the Fine Gael Ard Fheis, Hildegarde Naughton criticised TII’s decision to increase the price of tolls across the country, saying that the timing is “not good”.

“We’ve put forward an €11 billion budget, precisely to help people through this cost of living crisis”, she said.

“What we don’t want to do is be announcing funding allocations, as Minister Humphries is doing, on the one hand and then we have an unintended consequence that happened a few weeks later after the budget in relation to [the increases].”

Increases

The M50 in Dublin will not see as significant an increase, with tolls to jump from €2.10 to €2.30 for those using tags, €2.70 to €2.90 for those captured on video, and €3.20 to €3.50 for unregistered vehicles.

It’s the first time in a decade that the M50 has increased tolls.

Minister Naughton said that a serious conversation needs to be had about the planned increases, including discussions about scrapping them.

“What we don’t want to do is give with one hand and be taking with another”, she said.

“These conversations have to happen in relation to how we can manage this.”

“There needs to be a conversation between TII and government around ensuring that commuters are not incurring extra costs at a time when they just can’t afford it.”

Main image shows Minister of State at the Department of Transport Hildegarde Naughton in the Government Press Centre. Picture by: Sasko Lazarov / RollingNews.ie