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Friday, 19th May 2017

Road tolls hampering Drogheda’s housing and industrial development

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John Kierans - “If you were a builder, would you try to build and sell housing beside the Donore Road toll booth?”

In article three of his series about the negative impacts the M1 tolls are having on the lives and economy of the people of Drogheda financial consultant John Kierans looks at the consequences for traffic in the town centre as drivers cross town rather than use the M1 as a by-pass.

He also points out that house prices have been skewed with homes closer to the south of the town becoming more expensive than similar homes on the North side.

“If you were a builder, would you try to build and sell housing beside the Donore Road toll booth?” he asks. He could also ask if you were thinking of establishing a business would you opt for a site where every truck entering or leaving your facility had to pay for the privilege?

Traffic Congestion

If there was no road toll outside Drogheda, there would be a lot less traffic in Drogheda.  Many people drive through all of or part of the town to avoid paying a toll.  When we rid ourselves of tolls Drogheda will be a less congested town. 

The town centre and those who live and work in it would benefit greatly.  Naturally, Dundalk does not suffer the inconvenience of pass through traffic.  Neither do Waterford, Kilkenny, Carlow, Newbridge or Naas.  The needs of the largest town in Ireland are simply being ignored.  

With the potential closure of Saint Laurence’s Gate the need to de-congest Drogheda has never been greater.

Town Planning

Drogheda is sprawling southwards in reaction to the road toll.  More particularly, it is spreading southwards along the ‘free’ Dublin road as far as south gate.  If the motorway was ‘toll free’, in all likelihood developers would build new housing stock on the west side of Drogheda – closer to the M1.

Alas our burgeoning city is strangled by a road toll.  Thus our local planning masters in Navan and Dundalk are asked to permission new housing developments that allow buyers to easily avoid the toll.  It is harder for a developer to build and sell a house right beside a road toll.  The potential buyer would prefer a house that avoids a road toll.

The maths is simple.  Over the lifetime of a mortgage (25 years) a toll slave will pay €25,000 of after tax earnings on tolls. This goes a long way to explaining the price difference in the picture above.

If you were a builder, would you try to build and sell housing beside the Donore Road toll booth?  The houses compared above are both 3 bed end of terrace houses - 130 Knockbrack Downs and 24 Park Square, Grange Rath, (www.daft.ie).

The location of housing nationally is becoming distorted by road toll positions.  Planning our towns and cities around the random location of toll plazas is madness. 

I have a plan to get rid of road tolls.  I need you the reader to help me.  Too many in our community are quick to complain and reluctant to act.  Don’t be one of them.

Visit www.jffk.ie and help us!

See the previous articles in this series:

Local man with a plan to abolish motorway tolls

Road Tolls – bad for your health as well as your pocket

 

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