Following the announcement that there is to be a one-month ‘toll-holiday’ for heavy goods vehicles in November 2013, the Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI) has told its members to take advantage of the opportunity which should save them money.
Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s Minister for Transport has proposed the removal of the toll fees in order to ‘coax truckers off the back roads’, saying “I want to find out if trucks will start using our motorways more often if we change the current tolling regime.”
In reply, FTAI is encouraging freight operators to make full use of the opportunity in order that they can record the difference in costs of using the tolled routes in comparison to using the back roads.
By using the tolled motorway roads network, freight operators will benefit from improved kilometers per litre and with diesel representing almost 40% of running costs the savings will contribute to improving their business.
Tom Wilson, FTA Ireland General Manager commented: “We at FTA Ireland are encouraging our members to make full use of the ‘toll-holiday’ as we strongly believe that freight operators should see significant cost savings and benefits, such as cutting journey times, reductions in fuel, vehicle wear and tear, driver’s wages and improved delivery times. All this would lead to better customer satisfaction and we think it makes perfect sense for freight operators to take advantage of it.”
The move has been prompted by the reported relatively low traffic levels using some of the tolled motorways, including the M3 from Dublin to Kells, the Limerick Tunnel and the M1 outside Drogheda. This has also led to the concern of the road safety implications of HGVs using towns and villages in order to avoid toll fees.