By Gráinne Ní Aodha and Vivienne Clarke
The Government is to intervene to defer toll charges for six months.
It is understood that toll increases will be deferred for half a year until July 1st, at a cost of €12.5 million.
Tolls were to increase from January 1st to their maximum rate due to inflation, as citizens grapple with the rising cost of living.
The Government had said that there had not been an increase in toll rates for nine years due to low rates of inflation, but said they would examine the issue after it was raised at Cabinet last week.
The president of the Irish Road Haulage Association, Eugene Drennan, has said that his organisation is seeking a meeting with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) to discuss the option of discount tolls for volume usage.
Mr Drennan told RTÉ radio’s News at One that he welcomed the Cabinet decision to defer an increase in tolls, planned for January, to July 2023, but he said that the contract with the toll companies includes a provision for a discount mechanism for high volume users. It was time for that to be honoured.
Any increase in tolls would have a significant impact on the supply chain of which 98 percent was covered by trucks, he warned. A medium truck fleet at present pays between €100,000 to €130,000 a year in tolls, the proposed increase could mean an increase of €20,000 to €30,000 which was very significant.
Mr Drennan called for any increase to be deferred for a year by which stage inflation could have eased and there would not be any need.