Toll charges on most of the country’s national road network have increased today after a six-month deferment by the Government and there have been warnings that tolls are highly likely to rise again.
The Automobile Association said it would like to see a review of the public-private partnerships behind many toll roads.
Ten roads across the country are subject to toll charges and since midnight the cost of travelling through nine of them has increased.
On the M50, the toll for cars without tags increases 30c to €3.50 and for cars with tags, it rose to 20c to €2.30.
On the M1, M7, M8, N6, N25 at Waterford and N18 Limerick Tunnel the toll for cars is up 10c to €2.10.
On the M3, it is up 10c to €1.60 and on the M4 there is a 20c increase for cars to €3.20.
There is no increase for the Dublin Port Tunnel or the Tom Clarke Bridge know as the East Link which is operated by Dublin City Council.
The Automobile Association said the increases are unwelcome at a time of rising costs for motorists and it says it wants to see a review of the public-private partnerships behind many toll roads.
Head of Communications with AA Roadwatch Paddy Comyn said: “We know petrol and diesel is going to increase over the next few months, it’s been signalled and we know the electricity prices are high for charging your electric vehicle so this isn’t welcome.
“I think in some cases across the country, there has been justification for the toll because we have a much better road network.
“However in the case of roads such as the M50, the general public have paid for these roads tens of multiple times over.”
Mr Comyn said: “So unfortunately for that situation, people just don’t agree and they see it as an extra tax.
“We know that in the case the public-private partnerships, these were necessary to some degree because we have much better roads than we had five to 10 years ago.
“However, I think we need a better oversight of these. We need to potentially review these public-private partnerships so the general public can get a sight as to where these will end.”
These increases had been deferred by six months by the Government due to the increased cost of living.
But the Government says the tolls are needed to help maintain the national road network.
Minister of State Seán Fleming said the Government had not been found wanting when it came to supporting people during the cost of living crisis.
He said: “We deferred the toll increase and part of that was dealing with the cost of living pressures that people are experiencing and we understand that that is continuing.
“But the Government has done a lot this year to help individual families, people and workers in relation to the cost of living and we will have a budget coming up in the autumn, which we hope will have relief for people.
“So we have to look at it in the context of the inflation situation, which is now thankfully beginning to ease.”
Mr Fleming added: “Yes the toll roads were built years ago but everybody knows the level of maintenance that’s required, and the cost of everything is increasing, even though not as much as was in the previous year.”
Transport Infrastructure Ireland said that all toll increases are driven by the rate of inflation and the money is used to maintain the national road network.
But it also said this week that motorists are highly likely to face a second hike in toll rates at the start of next year.