In one of the first press releases from Deirdre Clune since the Seanad Elections before the Summer the Fine Gael Senatorhas welcomed Minister’s Varadkar statement that tolls should not be imposed on the tunnel in Cork.
Earlier in the year the National Roads Authority (NRA) indicated the intention to provide a toll system on the Cork tunnel. “In my view this is a short sighted move that would have hindered traffic flow and economic activity across the city”.
I was reassured to hear the Minister’s comments in the Seanad this week when I raised my concern with him. The Minister stated “I recognise there are other ways to raise revenue than tolls and in light of the increase of VAT and Carbon tax slapping tolls on top of this would put people under more fiscal restraint”.
Senator Clune welcomed the Ministers comments. “This is very welcome news for Cork, many people use this several times a day and to impose a toll in the current economic climate would have a profound effect on business and many livelihoods in Cork city and county”.
The Lee tunnel which is administered by the National Roads Authority (NRA) and managed by Cork City Council has become one of the State’s busiest road arteries – handling up to 50,000 vehicles per day at weekends, rising to upwards of 68,000 vehicles every weekday.
“Tolling of the Lee Tunnel would have been a step too far for hard pressed motorists and a city trying to survive in a difficult economic climate” said Senator Clune.