It’s clear that tolls on the M50 are clogging the entire ring-road and defeating its purpose as a fast alternative to driving through Dublin city. Radical action is required.
It is disgusting that the toll charge on the M50 is being raised from €1.50 to €1.80. It is important that we realise that West Link bridge was put in place many years ago to alleviate the traffic problem, but it is now contributing to it in a major way. It is absurd that commuters, cars, and other vehicles are being charged by the company in question to use it. While it makes considerable money not only for the State but for individuals, in so doing it also obstructs traffic. This is a complete and utter absurdity.
I tabled a motion, which has been seconded by Senator Norris and which I hope Senators Ormonde and Bohan will support, that the Government should take urgent measures to ensure that the Westlink toll bridge is opened even if that means buying it out. I would not mind nationalising it.
We should note that when this bridge was originally built there were approximately 11,000 cars going through per day. There are now 90,000 per day. It is an absolute absurdity that it is allowed to obstruct the traffic of Dublin. The M50 will now be a double cause of delay because there will be three lanes on it in five years time and there will be a permanent traffic jam when the upgrading begins. It would be sensible, therefore, to reduce that ridiculous charge back to €1.50 and, second, to open the toll gates!