CORK Fine Gael TD Deirdre Clune has described the possible tolling of the Jack Lynch Tunnel as totally unacceptable.
She was responding to ideas floated by the Government that they may consider introducing tolls on a number of major roads including the Jack Lynch Tunnel in Cork.
“Three tolls already exist for someone driving from Cork City to Dublin Airport. A car travelling from Cork City to Dublin Airport will currently be charged €6.70 in tolls already paying a toll of €1.90 in Fermoy, €1.80 in Abbeyleix and €3 on the M50. By contrast only one toll of €1.80 exists on the road from Dublin to Belfast.
“The opening of the Jack Lynch tunnel was of great benefit to Cork City ending years of some of the worst traffic congestion in the country and removing HGV from the centre of Cork City. It has also benefited local businesses by reducing journey times to Dublin & the East Coast. The benefits to tourism have been obvious as the towns and villages of West Cork have become a much easier destination.
“The NRA need to be aware of the implications of introducing tolls on the Jack Lynch Tunnel and other major roads in the country. What small sum the Government may make in revenue will be greatly outweighed by the cost as jobs are lost and businesses close. The Government should not repeat the devastation mistake it made introducing the travel tax.
“The NRA have previously shown a complete lack of understanding for the local implications of their actions, mostly clearly demonstrated in their objections to local projects.
“This is one step too far for the Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey and the NRA, it is totally unacceptable and must not be allowed to gain traction as the consequences for jobs and businesses across the country could be devastating,” she said.