Tougher penalties needed for rip-off toll operators- O’Dowd

-   Fergus O'Dowd TD

Toll operators must face tougher penalties for ripping off motorists, a Fine Gael TD has said.

Chair of the Oireachtas Transport Committee, Louth TD Fergus O’Dowd, has also called on Transport Infrastructure Ireland to be more transparent around publishing complaints about toll issues.

Earlier this year, Deputy O’Dowd called for toll operator Celtic Roads Group to face significant financial sanctions after it emerged that over 1,200 motorists were overcharged at the Drogheda toll plaza.

While customers have been refunded, the operator was fined just €3,800 for repeated overcharging over the course of 9 months.

Deputy O’Dowd said: “I am calling for much tougher penalties for toll operators that rip off Irish motorists.

“I was shocked to learn that the M1 toll operator faced a fine of just €3,800 after overcharging 1,200 customers.

“This was a wide spread and very serious issue that affected many local residents and should be considered as such with a more appropriate fine imposed.

“Toll operators must face tougher penalties for fleecing motorists.”

Deputy O’Dowd continued: “I am also calling for more transparency in respect of complaints made to TII about tolling issues.

“When I requested information on complaints received by the authority, I was told 44 complaints were made about inappropriate toll charges in 2017.

“However TII did not disclose further information on the nature of these complaints despite my request for same. This is not acceptable and I will appeal this to the Information Commissioner.

“Public bodies must be transparent and accountable. These complaints should be published and investigated thoroughly in the public interest.

“We have already seen the repeated overcharging of motorists in the North East- every step should now be taken to ensure this isn’t taking place elsewhere.”

ENDS

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