Tolling in Ireland
Tolling has been in operation within Ireland since the 1980’s. Back in 1984, the country’s first tolling facility was introduced at the heart of Dublin Port, on the Eastlink Bridge. A little over six years later, the country’s first motorway toll was erected on the Westlink Bridge between Tallaght and Blanchardstown in Co. Dublin.
When a motorist uses one of the country’s toll roads, they are required to pay a toll. Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) has responsibility for overseeing the implementation of tolling throughout Ireland. In addition, the Authority also has responsibility for planning, supervising, constructing and maintaining all national roads in Ireland.
Why are toll charges imposed?
Transport Infrastructure Ireland is empowered by the Local Government (Toll Roads) Act, 1979 to charge and collect tolls for the use of certain roads by vehicles.
Major new road developments in Ireland are now undertaken and funded through Public Private Partnership (PPP). This means, that in order to develop new roads and maintain current infrastructure, part of the funding required comes from public sources and part comes from private commercial sources.
Transport Infrastructure Ireland's use of PPP projects is in accordance with the strategy of using tolling to recover part of the substantial private sector investment involved in developing and maintaining roads in Ireland.
Exemptions from toll charges
Certain vehicles in Ireland are exempt from toll charges. The vehicles in question are vehicles belonging to and used for official purposes by the Defence Forces, vehicles used by An Garda Siochana (the Irish police force), fire brigade vehicles and ambulances.
Penalties for not Paying toll Fees
All motorists who use one of the country’s toll roads are liable to pay toll fees. Those who use a toll road and then fail, neglect or refuse to pay are guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction in a District Court to a fine not exceeding €1,270.
Electronic Tolling (eToll)
What is eToll?
eToll is the Irish symbol for electronic tolling. Electronic tolling allows motorists to use electronic tolling lanes, thereby saving time and availing of user friendly payment methods. Transport Infrastructure Ireland introduced this friendly toll payment system on Friday 15th June, 2007.
The eToll concept is simple and convenient Once a driver has signed up with any fully interoperable tag provider, certain vehicles, namely cars, jeeps and small vans, get access to the express lane on every toll road in the country. So, not only is toll both traffic avoided, there’s also no need to have change on hand again.
Once installed, the tag is detected each time the vehicle passes through a toll. The charge is then debited against the customer’s account.
The electronic tolling system in place on the M50 will automatically recognise the correct toll for the class of vehicle you are driving. On other toll roads, the class is taken from what was pre-defined when the account was set up.
There are a number of companies in Ireland providing electronic tags to drivers. Since August 2008, the West Link Bridge on the M50 has operated a barrier-free tolling system called eFlow. This system allows drivers to pass through the toll at motorway speed.
How does electronic tolling work?
Electronic tolling uses a small electronic tag which is placed in the vehicle and is detected each time the vehicle passes through the plaza. The toll is then debited to the customer’s account. The electronic tolling system will automatically recognise the correct toll for the class of vehicle you are driving.
What does eToll interoperability mean?
Most Tag Providers use the eToll Interoperability system which means a driver will only need one tag for tolling facilities in Ireland. We recommend that only one tag should be installed in each vehicle.
Drivers with more than one tag need to be aware that only one tag will be read through random selection. Therefore, it is advised that drivers choose a preferred tag to be placed properly within their car.
Video Accounts and Registration
If you prefer not to use a tag, but wish to use the M50, eFlow offer a Video Account option. When your vehicle passes under the tolling point, an image is taken of your registration number plate and the toll amount fee is automatically deducted from your video account.
Video tolling systems allows a vehicles license plate number to be extracted from an image either by using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology or manual checking.
In Ireland video tolling is used in conjunction with the M50open road tolling, as a means to allow drivers without electronic tags to use the toll road.
There are two forms of video tolling utilised in Ireland:
- Registered Video Tolling - the motorist must first register their vehicle license plate with the tolling agency prior to using the toll road. The system will then associate the plate images with the account and debit the amount of the toll from the account.
- Unregistered User – The system shall lookup the vehicle registration information from a Vehicle and Driver database and the appropriate fine will be sent to the owner of the vehicle.
Regardless of the account you register for, all vehicles that use the M50 toll road are photographed/video recorded. These photographs/images are retained in a highly secure environment for the purpose of enforcement and to address and resolve any disputes that may arise.
All vehicles using the section of the M50 between Junction 6 (N3 Blanchardstown) and Junction 7 (N4 Lucan) are liable to pay a toll. There is no cash payment facility available at the tolling point on the M50. Unregistered users must pay the toll by 8pm on the day following the journey.
The barrier-free tolling system on the M50 is operated by eFlow on behalf of Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII). You can pay a toll online at www.eflow.ie or over the telephone with a credit or laser card. Simply LoCall 1890 50 10 50 from the Republic of Ireland, 0845 301 5405 from the United Kingdom or +800 50 10 50 11 from international lines.
You can also make a cash payment at a Payzone branded outlet nationwide. For further information visit www.payzone.ie.