Tolls proposal is 'nonsense' - Burke

Proposals to extend tolls to non-motorway roads make no sense in a country like Ireland and should be scrapped immediately, according to Fine Gael county councillor Peter Burke.Cllr. Burke said: "Hard tolling of roads is not an efficient way to raise money. The capital cost of putting new tolls in place and the cost of staffing them is not an efficient way to collect what is effectively a new tax."While some people may make the case for hard tolling on motorways that have been built through public private partnership, there is certainly no case for installing new tolling booths on most existing national roads, or on any non-national roads."If the Government wants to collect direct or indirect taxation from the transport sector, there are far more efficient ways to do that than the crude tolling method."Road tolls are expensive to implement, and discriminate against consumers who are live or work in the tolled areas."Ireland has a population which is spread thinly across the country, and which has a poor public transport infrastructure. If you're going to charge for the use of a road, there needs to be an alternative transport option for the road user through public transport, or an alternative route."Neither option is available in most parts of Ireland."