Fianna Fáil calls for West Link toll cut to combat gridlock

Minister for Transport says measures to deal with traffic include new junctions on M50

A call has been made to reduce or eliminate the toll on the M50 West Link bridge at certain times of the day to deal with traffic gridlock.

Fianna Fáil transport spokesman Timmy Dooley said there was a need for "more radical" measures to deal with increasing congestion on the Dublin motorway route with more than 140,000 vehicles a day.

He asked Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe if any consideration had been given "to a reduced toll or perhaps a period in which no toll would apply, particularly on the West Link section of the M50, to encourage people to travel earlier and later".

The Minister said measures to deal with increasing traffic included three further junctions on the M50 next year and variable speed limits. “At the moment, nearly one third of traffic travels on the outside lane at peak times as opposed to one fifth at non-peak times. We need to smooth that out to make best use of all lanes.”


Luas extension Other measures include the Luas extension to Phibsborough-Cabra and 100 additional buses.

Sinn Féin transport spokesman Dessie Ellis said toll income from the M50 was €110 million annually and €50 million went to pay the original owners. He asked about proposals for multi-point tolling along the motorway.

Mr Donohoe said this should only be implemented “if we ever have a very substantially increased public transport capacity”. It would cut traffic by 20 per cent but half of that would move onto local roads, merely moving the congestion, he said.

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran is Parliamentary Correspondent of The Irish Times