Eastlink toll to be retained.

breakingnews.ie/ireland/not- … 24158.html

The toll bridge is paid for many times over by now but there will still be a toll.
Why? It is a revenue stream for local Government.

I used to live at the far end of Strand Road in Sandymount and every weekday in the evenings there would be a traffic jam all the way back to the Merrion gates from the Toll Bridge.

Local Government will not relinquish revenue streams irrespective of how much hassle it costs to their local citizens.

I was talking to a local businessman who was shutting down his business last week and his business was the last one in his block of retail units to shut down with the others vacant for years.
I asked him how much his rates were. €5k for which he gets precisely feck all on this private street.
Local Government is more like a parasite these days than something which servers local society.

I’m actually inclined to agree with keeping this toll. It provides a quicker alternative to the many other options for crossing the Liffey. Removing the toll here would just dump a whole load of extra traffic onto the bridge and into Sandymount and East Wall, which the surrounding infrastructure would struggle to cope with. I lived in the gasworks for a year and I often used the toll bridge (and tunnel) when I needed quicker access. That quicker access would be gone, as the bridge would immediately become clogged.

With even a euro charge on the bridge, people will sit in their car for an extra 10-15 minutes on the free bridges, and this is a good thing in my opinion. During the snow in 2010 I used the port tunnel and bridge on evenings where snow was falling, and got home quickly while colleagues were abandoning cars and/or spending 4 hours getting home. As long as people have a mental block about tolls, they provide excellent congestion relief for those in a hurry.

It’s also a good revenue stream to pay for infrastructure. I pay 6 tolls a week doing a Cork - Dublin trip which involves the m50. Sure I’d rather it was free, but two of those tolls have delivered critical interurban infrastructure and one is financing the entire m50. The m50 is at capacity again. I used it for 4 years through it’s redevelopment and have seen the traffic grow and grow, with more cars on it now than in 2007, due to the extra capacity.

I’d actually agree with building more tolled roads at this point, rather than closing tolls. I’d also like to see a congestion charge for Dublin City centre, with the canal crossing points serving as the rough boundary. Reinvest that money in public spaces by creating squares, and in public transport infrastructure such as city centre luas lines and bus priority areas.

You are basically saying that you are able to and willing to pay a premium to purchase priority access to what is actually now a public road since the toll bridge has been paid for over the last few decades; that is plutocracy.

I think he says that he favors road resources to be efficiently allocated but on other hand he wants economical benefits of infrastructure to be redistributed by state. He must be some sort of free market socialist.

I don’t particularly like paying to use roads, but I’m happy that this option exists for avoiding congestion. A toll on the east link is useful for Dublin’s infrastructure, in that it limits the utilization rate of server that isn’t particularly well supported at either end - there’s a mini-roundabout at one side, and a cluster of inner suburbs at the other with no direct access to an arterial route. It would be great to see the money pumped into extending an eastern bypass of the city further.

The port tunnel is another piece of useful infrastructure, targeting a subsection of city centre congestion and allowing cars direct quick and easy access to/from the airport and orbital routes. Sure, we could make that free too, but it would immediately be clogged with cars - that’s why the tolls are prohibitive southbound in the morning and northbound in the evening.

That it’s a public road is neither here nor there. If the council pockets the money, then (wastage aside) that money can be put to benefit many more residents/businesses than those who would like to use the bridge for free. Similarly, the m50 concession paid for the upgrade and medium term maintenance of a far larger piece of infrastructure.

There are plenty of options for those who do not wish to pay the premium* for the east link toll bridge. A new public bridge, the Samuel Beckett bridge, was erected in recent years to provide further free public access. The east link is a congestion valve at busy times, and unnecessary off-peak.

*I don’t believe it’s a premium. In my view of the world it saves me time and therefore money. It’s the same reason I’ll never spend a week of my holidays painting my gaff myself, or wash my car on a Saturday morning, or grow my own vegetables. My time is valuable to me. Unless doing something myself is an enjoyable pastime (some folk like a bit of DIY), if there is a convenient service which can protect my leisure time or do the job a lot better, I am likely to purchase it.

:laughing: Who needs a label?

But fundamentally, yes. While you can view tolls as stealth tax for targeted sections of the community, tolls to the state are an opt-in charge on premium services.

Some people believe that all services should be provided by the state for free with equal access for all - everything from housing and a living wage, up to healthcare, education and roads, infrastructure. Some people even believe that the state should be tiny and people should get out, work, and if you can’t afford something, tough. The cost to taxpayers of the former is prohibitive, and the human cost of the latter is abhorrent to the majority in most societies.

Mostly, people sit somewhere in between. In our centrist democracy, this unfortunately manifests itself in the proliferation of two-tiered infrastructure and services which offer almost/somewhat state funded, or premium topup levels.

  • Yes, your kid gets funded education, but nicer state schools expect a contribution, and there’s a ‘premium’ private school option to mix with supposedly nicer (read wealthier) people
  • Yes, you can get hospital care from the state for a small contribution, but there’s a premium top-up system where you can get quicker access to care and a better hospital experience

I don’t agree at all with partially funding private healthcare, and partially funding private schooling, but pulling out of either will badly affect the our ability to provide the same level of public healthcare and education to everyone.

I don’t, however, see the state provision of free and faster driving routes for you in your private car as a fundamental right, even if the state owns the infrastructure. If the east link was the only bridge in town, I could see dipole’s point. As it stands, its a premium option for the private motorist, just as motoring itself is a heavily taxed premium option over the public transport network.

This road bridge cost 6.1 million punts (or 8 million depending on your source) in 1984. It has been paid for many times over.

Arguments about paying for additional services as you use them won’t wash with me until I see income tax levels decreasing accordingly.

I was stuck on the Dartford crossing east of London for 2 hours last week and I see it as nothing more than the Eastlink on a larger scale which has a negative effect on the quality of life of residents of these growing cities and those who just happen to be passing through.

At the time I lived on Strand Road in 1990 I didn’t own a car and mainly used the Dart or Bus to get in to town. Looking out my kitchen window I felt pity for all those commuters forced to put up with the queues to this bridge because they had no alternative and even now there are few extra alternatives - one bridge extra I think in a not very conventient location for those who are trying to bypass the city.

I use infrastructure routes here in Germany that are considerably more expensive to construct than that very humble bridge in the ports and no toll is payable. Local Government chooses to funnel traffic away from the alternate routes to make the living environment in Heidelberg City more pleasant for the residents and promote local economic activity; that is a choice made in the interests of society, not a cynical 8 million euro money grab.

Let us not forget that this was conceived as a get-rich-quick-after-loosing-ones-shirt scheme by Tom Roche.
independent.ie/business/iris … 77503.html

It was never intended to be a permanent tolled bridge.

JammyBastard can espouse all the ideological beliefs he likes to justify himself but really the fact is he can afford to pay for preferential access to the route so is willing to do so and not have to go bumper to bumper with the riff-raff. A prime Birmingham M6 Toll road Customer.

Never bothered with it,just swing down through Ringsend and cut across onto the Sandymount coast road,I pay €635 for road tax,that me done paying.Ditto the M50 and I cut down through Clonard,Enfield Kinnegad when heading to Longford.
Tolls are for suckers.

thought I was the only 1 who did that! :laughing:

None of what you say escapes the fact that by removing the toll, it will become just another congested route. On it’s own, it’s limited viability as a bypass route is entirely based on the toll controlling its congestion. Opening it up will just attract more cars and further clog up the surrounding areas. I would prefer that the toll is kept, and that some plan is developed to upgrade the surrounding route.

Also I’m not a daily user, nor was I ever a frequent user. I simply liked the option during those times that I needed it, to make a flight (in conjunction with the tunnel) or to avoid a gridlock around custom house quay.

What ideology am I espousing that requires justification? This country is underfunded for infrastructure, and I merely state that tolls present:

  • congestion control
  • an avoidable tax which can be levied on the heaviest users of infrastructure

The private ownership period of the east link is frankly not relevant to this point. That (bad) deal is over. It doesn’t mean we should reduce the function of the bridge just to repay those who chose to use it in the past. Make it free and its just another clogged up bridge with a bad traffic flow on its northern side.

How about you address the issues of what function the bridge serves in Dublin, instead of taking a strawman position against me by declaring me to be some plutocrat who wants a preferential route to avoid queueing with riff-raff. Talk about Dublin’s traffic system, not German or other infrastructure which we cannot transplant here.

What’s your position on tolls for the port tunnel? Do you object to this toll on principle, or do you think it serves a purpose?

If you’re heading to Longford, you’ve kind of given up already though, haven’t you?

The M4 toll is outrageous. M50 I can understand though I resent the deal done on the PPP end of that. The weird tolling system between Portlaoise and Cork is bizarre, and is a deterrent to visiting Fermoy because there’s a toll on the way in and out, afaik.

The better roads make my life a lot better, save me a lot of time. I agree with JammyBastard re tunnel. I don’t need to use it, but given its location and function it’s a kind of superhighway that should remain super, not clogged. OH swears by it.

I also pay my mother’s tolls and it’s a comfort to know she’s on better roads late at night. She was driving every back road til I got her the Doo-hickey. She’s of the country generation who would avoid a toll road because she wouldn’t entirely know what to do with it.

I’ve driven through longer tunnels that were just as difficult to engineer for free.
I can’t make sense of that tunnel and I say this as someone who had a workmate crushed on their bicycle on the quays by a truck.
I came off the ferry last Thursday at 23:30ish and the option of using the tolled tunnel to gain access to the tolled M50 was available to me but I chose to drive along the quays instead.
I suppose if someone asks me what my opinion of the port tunnel is then after reflection I’d respond by saying I’d move the port elsewhere.

Dublin is so different? Dublin is so unique? Dublin is the only port city in the world with a river leading out to sea?

You want locals commuting across the City to put up with daily inconvenience so that you can occassionaly benefit from a dedicated fast lane through the city to your destination.
Capacity on the route increases if the toll is removed. If the route is working at a greater capacity then it takes strain off other routes in the City which are working in excess of capacity and the City as a whole benefits.

Do it myself as well - the old N4 is a pretty decent road.

The €635 is motor tax. Use of the (non-toll) roads is free.

good road except speed limit was reduced from 100kmph to 80kmph, planning permission has been opened up for more development outside of the villages and Gardai set up more checkpoints.
As an alternate viable route to the tolled road it has been undermined.

:confused: The Eastlink and M50 have been toll-free for years, the other tolls are €1.50 or less and motor tax is only €85.
You lot all have two wheels too many. :wink:

In a deliberate effort to force motorists onto the tolled road. F**k them - I’m gonna keep using it

The N11 has already had the speed limit cut between the end of the Arklow bypass and the Beehive pub

In anticipation of opening the nice PPP stretch of the M11