To ask the Minister for Transport if he has considered reducing to zero the tolls on the Westlink toll bridge; and if so, the outcome of such consideration and the way in which it was reached.
For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 29th June, 2005.
Ref No: 23192/05
Answered by Minister for Transport(Martin Cullen)
I have not considered the question of the reduction to zero of the tolls on the West Link Toll Bridge.
The statutory power to levy tolls on national roads, to make toll bye-laws, and to enter into toll agreements with private investors in respect of national roads is vested in the National Roads Authority (NRA) under Part V of the Roads Act 1993 (as amended by the Planning and Development Act 2000). Tolling of the West Link Bridge, therefore, and any change to the current tolling arrangements, is a matter for the NRA, in the first instance.
I am aware that, in the context of the upgrade of the M50 and my policy objective to move to open road tolling, the NRA is in negotiation with NTR on a range of issues affecting the West Link Toll agreement. The NRA will report to me on the outcome of its engagement with NTR including any implications for the current agreement.