Toll roads

Introduction

Toll roads are roads that drivers must pay to use. You can find a list of toll roads and toll charges on the Transport Infrastructure Ireland website.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) oversees the implementation of tolling in Ireland. TII also has responsibility for planning, supervising constructing and maintaining all national roads.

Why are toll charges imposed?

Under the Local Government (Toll Roads) Act, 1979, TII can charge and collect tolls from vehicles using certain roads. A bye-law under the Act must be passed before a toll can be imposed on a road.

Major new road developments are now undertaken and funded through Public Private Partnership (PPP). This means that part of the funding for road building and maintenance comes from public sources (that is, the Irish government) and part of the funding comes from private commercial sources. TII’s Public Private Partnership projects follow the strategy of using tolling on these roads to recover part of the substantial private sector investment involved.

Under the approach being pursued by Transport Infrastructure Ireland, toll roads are being constructed as additions to the current network of national roads rather than providing a means of improvement of existing roads.

New toll road schemes

Each time a toll scheme is proposed for a road, TII must publish a public notice telling citizens in the area that this change is being proposed. In addition, TII must produce a Draft Toll Scheme that people can inspect. The draft scheme must be available for one month so people can make observations and submissions on the scheme.

If you have an objection to the scheme, you must make your objections in writing to TII on or before the specified date.

The Draft Toll Scheme for a particular road and its accompanying Explanatory Statement will be prepared in accordance with the statutory provisions of the Roads Act 1993, as amended by the Planning and Development Act 2000.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland will serve a notice on the local authorities in the area where the proposed toll road will be located. This notice will inform them that a Draft Toll Scheme has been prepared for the road concerned and that representations about the proposal can be made in writing to TII within a specified period.

If objections to the Draft Toll Scheme are received and not withdrawn, TII will arrange an oral hearing to enquire into the matters raised by the objections. The report and recommendations of the person appointed to hold the hearing will be considered by the Board of TII before deciding whether to adopt the Draft Toll Scheme.

TII may adopt the Draft Toll Scheme with or without modifications or may refuse to adopt it.

The decision of TII on the Toll Scheme proposal will be published.

Exemptions from toll charges

Certain vehicles are exempt from toll charges, including vehicles belonging to and used for official purposes by the Defence Forces, vehicles used by An Garda Síochána, fire brigade vehicles and ambulances.

Vehicles adapted for disabled drivers or passengers are also entitled to an exemption from toll fees. Some toll road operators issue special passes which are recognised by all other toll road operators and which allow these vehicles to pass through the tolls without paying. To get a special pass you should contact the toll road operators to find one that issues the passes, and then apply to them for one. However, you can also get this exemption without a pass, by going to a manned toll booth every time you’re on a tolled road, and showing them your tax disc to confirm your exemption. Transport Infrastructure Ireland is currently reviewing the process for getting a pass.

Penalties for not paying toll fees

If you do not pay your tolls, these tolls and penalties can be recovered through a criminal or civil procedure.

Criminal procedure

You can be charged with an offence of not paying your toll or not obeying the instruction of an authorised person. The penalty on summary conviction is a fine not exceeding €5,000 or a term of imprisonment not exceeding 6 months, or both.

On the M50, the bye-laws set out penalties for those who fail, refuse or neglect to pay toll fees. These are as follows:

  • Initial default – penalty charge of €3
  • After 14 days – additional penalty charge of €41.50
  • After further 56 days – additional penalty charge of €103.50
  • Total fines per passage – €148

Civil procedure

The amount of tolls and penalties due are recoverable as a contract debt. The registered owner of a vehicle is responsible even if you are not driving the vehicle. This can be costly if there are multiple passages.

Rules

It is an offence to fail, neglect or refuse to pay a toll on a national road.

Failure to pay your toll will mean that you cannot pass along the road.

Rates

The toll rates for the toll roads are available on tii.ie.

The Dublin Port Tunnel imposes a toll on cars, taxis, motorcycles, vans and light commercial vehicles only. Commercial vehicles above 3.5 tonnes laden weight and buses with more than 25 seats do not pay tolls.

If you are registered for VAT, you can reclaim VAT paid on tolls.

Payment of tolls can be made by cash or by eToll.

eToll

Electronic tolling allows motorists to use electronic tolling lanes, thereby saving time and the need to carry cash when travelling through a toll road. Electronic tolling uses a small electronic tag that is placed in the vehicle and is detected each time your vehicle passes through the toll. The toll is then debited against the customer's account. The electronic tolling system automatically recognises the correct toll for the class of vehicle you are driving.

There are a number of companies providing electronic tags to motorists. All these providers use the same system which means you only need one tag for all tolling facilities. Information on suppliers of electronic tags and the different types of tag accounts is available at tagcompare.ie.

The M50 operates a barrier-free tolling scheme called eFlow. This allows all motorists to pass through the toll at motorway speed. There is a number of ways you can pay the tolls, including using an electronic tag from eFlow or another supplier. Charges varying depending on the method used. You cannot pay the toll with cash at the M50, but the toll must be paid by 8pm the next day. You can find out more about the toll scheme at eflow.ie.

How to pay

Generally, toll charges are paid at the barrier to the toll road. You can either pay in cash, or by using an eToll tag. For the M50, if you do not have an account you must pay online, by phoning Locall 1890 501 050, by using the M50 Quick Pay App, or through Payzone outlets.

Where to apply

To get an eToll tag, simply contact one of the companies that provide electronic tolling tags. If you have a complaint about a toll road operator or your electronic tag provider, you should contact the company to find out how to make a complaint.


Page edited: 14 December 2018