Dublin City Council may continue East Link tolls

Thursday 30 January 2014 16.45
A report from the council warns if the toll is scrapped the council would lose income
A report from the council warns if the toll is scrapped the council would lose income

Dublin City Council officials want to keep charging tolls on the East Link bridge when it reverts to the city's ownership next year.

But the decision on whether to keep the toll, which earns an annual profit of over €4m, will be up to elected councillors.

A report from the council's City Engineer Michael Philips warns that if the toll is scrapped the council would lose this potential income along with €700,000 in rates.

It would also be liable for maintenance costs of €200,000 a year.

The 22 toll booth staff would also lose their jobs and the demolition of the plaza would cost €850,000.

There is also a contribution to local community projects of nearly €124,000 a year which would be lost.

At present, private motorists pay a charge of €1.75, while HGVs get a rebate on their tolls.

The toll income is split between the City Council (17%, €600,000), the Dublin Port Company (25%) and the Dutch operating company DIF (58%).

The bridge will revert to full ownership of the council in December 2015 under the original agreement made in 1983 between the Council, the port company, and the company that became East Link.

The report noted that toll revenue has fallen 30% since its peak in 2008 because of the opening of the Samuel Beckett Bridge, the M50 upgrade, and a reduction in construction traffic.

However, it is expected to rise again during works on the Luas linkup.

Councillors on the Transport Committee will consider the report next Wednesday while a final decision on the tolls is due to be made at a full council meeting in March.