Motorists who pay tolls on the M1 and M3 motorways will be paying at least 10 cent more per journey come next year.
Transport Infrastructure Ireland has confirmed that all public-private partnership motorways are bringing in their maximum permitted tolls in line with inflation.
Meanwhile, the toll on the State-owned M50 will also increase by 30 cent for unregistered cars from January 1st.
The Dublin Port Tunnel is the only tolled road in the country not upping its prices.
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport, Darren O’Rourke TD, has called on the Minister for Transport to intervene in relation to an announcement that tolls prices across the state are set to increase to their maximum permitted level.
The Meath East TD said the proposed increases will hit Meath commuters hard and must be s
He told Meath Live, “This news comes as another blow to motorists, and at a time of record fuel prices and a cost-of-living crisis.
“Workers and families are struggling to get by, and these toll increases are going to really hurt commuters.
“Tolls disproportionately impact those living in rural areas, who are forced to use a private car as the public transport options simply aren’t there. Commuters in Meath will be particularly affected, with two tolls on the M3.
“These lucrative PPP contracts for toll roads have been a loser for the state year-on-year.
“During the pandemic, the taxpayer had to step in and pay toll operators millions because there weren’t enough cars on the road.
“Now, due to these gold-plated Fianna Fáil-era contracts, motorists will be forced to fork out even more.
“It’s not lost on people that their wages don’t go up in line with inflation, but the government has ensured the profits of toll operators do.
“Last month the M3 toll operator alone announced a profit of €11m. These firms aren’t struggling to get by, these toll increases are all about protecting private profit.
“In addition to heaping more financial misery on motorists, these toll increases will divert traffic off main roads and onto smaller roads, which is more dangerous and less efficient. We know that well in Meath, with traffic avoiding M1, M2 and M3 tolls clogging up our minor roads every day.
“The Minister for Transport must intervene. These increases should not go ahead.
“In addition, we also need a review of the toll policy on our roads, with a focus on how it’s diverting traffic to smaller roads, causing congestion and road safety issues.”