Hiking motorway tolls to their highest ever level is “unfair” given the poor quality of public transport in Ireland, Newstalk Breakfast’s Ciara Kelly has said.
There are 11 toll roads in Ireland and a decision has been taken to increase the amount drivers pay in tolls by up to 60c per journey.
Only the Dublin Port Tunnel will be exempt but Ciara believes that the increase is excessive.
“Our public transport system is crap,” she said.
Motorists to be hit with toll charge hikes from January 1st. Ciara and Shane discuss the increase in toll charges on @NTBreakfast pic.twitter.com/x0xKFq8SVS
— NewstalkFM (@NewstalkFM) November 17, 2022
“It is not possible for a lot of people to just say, ‘You know what, I just love the choice of using my car - instead, I’ll just hop on this lovely streamlined train, Luas, whatever that just nips past my house and brings me to my workplace.’
“It can take hours for people to make short journeys on public transport in this country and I do think this is unfair to keep penalising people without offering them the possibility of a usable, sustainable, convenient alternative… It’s not fair.”
Her co-presenter Shane Coleman acknowledged that the move would leave people “up in arms” given the rising cost of living but said transport policy needs to evolve.
“There is a counter argument, it’s an argument I am sympathetic to,” he said.
“Which is that we have to start charging for road use much better than we’re doing at the moment. We have to start rethinking how we travel.”
Main image: Ciara Kelly.