Councillor Elaine McGinty.
Labour Councillor Elaine McGinty says it’s time for East Meath and South Drogheda to have a reprieve from the hundreds of Heavy Good Vehicles using our towns and villages.
“The M1 toll, like all toll roads, were meant to reduce traffic from our towns and villages, reduce travel times, improve air quality and give ownership of the area back to the community” she said.
“The idea of bypassing a town was meant to translate into less wear and tear on our regional roads and for county councils, a reduction in their repair and maintenance costs.
“Tolls and motorways were meant to be the solution to traffic congestion, but the opposite has happened for those living around the toll area and it is getting worse.
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“The village of Julianstown is taking in excess of 100k cars and HGVs a year through its village as a direct result of the toll. This is not a transport solution for East Meath, but a heavy price both environmentally and economically on the area.
“The private sector involvement in providing transport has seen only one winner, that being the toll operator. Everyone is suffering in this cost of living crises and with further toll price increases due, something has got to change in this arrangement, for the citizens of East Meath & Drogheda.
“The Hauliers and HGV operators are also caught up in this as much as anyone. Longer journey times as they circumvent the toll, higher fuel costs and increasing charges will eventually have to be absorbed by customers.”
Cllr McGinty is proposing a short-term solution of removing the toll for HGVs on the M1 said it would immediately help to tackle chronic traffic congestion in the area, improve air quality, require less road maintenance from the council and make the roads safer.
“Longer term, we need urgent Government investment in road and public transport solutions for East Meath and Drogheda, not just the bill of keeping the toll operator in business.”