Minister Shane Ross with Cllr. Kevin Callan at the Donore Road toling station this morning.
The Minister for Transport Shane Ross was in Drogheda earlier today with his Independent Alliance colleague Cllr Kevin Callan to examine the tolling structures around the town and in particular to see the tolling booths at the top of the Donore Road which for years have been said to restrict town traffic flow and restrict trade and investment in the town.
Cllr Callan said he had asked the Minister to visit and see for himself the fact that Drogheda is the only town in Ireland which is cornered in this way with a restrictive toll.
“I am delighted that Minister Ross, who is the first Transport Minister to take up an invitation to visit to see this current unacceptable situation has been to Drogheda to see not just the tolling locations but also the empty IDA Business Park which by its very location is also tolled in a way no other IDA Park is in Ireland. Drogheda was once a medieval town with a tolling structure but in the 21st Century to be charged to come into or out of your hometown every day in this way is absolutely unacceptable”.
Minister Ross said that he was glad to have the opportunity to be briefed on Drogheda’s situation with the tolls including the fact that HGV traffic is using the town as a charge free alternative route causing untold congestion on the old R132 North Road/Dublin Road route and the 20,000 vehicles travelling through Julianstown and Drogheda avoiding the toll also.
“Several public representatives, particularly Independent Alliance Counsellor Kevin Callan and Deputies Fergus O’Dowd and Imelda Munster have repeatedly raised this matter with me over the last year. I therefore felt it was important to see for myself the way the system is currently operating and also to see the traffic volumes in and around Drogheda and East Meath. With my department officials, I will work closely with these local representatives in their efforts to have the tolling of Drogheda examined and all possible options explored.”
The agreement to implement the tolls entered into by the CRG Toll Group and the National Roads Authority was objected to locally when it was granted permission by An Bord Pleanala as it was felt it would adversely affect Drogheda and surrounding areas such as Julianstown.
“For the €2million made at the Donore Road ramp tolls by CRG every year, Drogheda and its growth and development are being hampered to the cost of much much more in our economy, this must be addressed and I will be working closely with Minister Ross and other Independent minister in the coming days to see can pressure be applied to addressed this utterly discriminatory toll on our town and everyone who works and lives in the area”, said Cllr Callan.