M1 tolls drop 10 cent after NRA court win

TOLLS on the M1 motorway dropped 10 cent from midnight on Friday, March 11 after the High Court ruled the company operating the toll has been overcharging drivers since January.

TOLLS on the M1 motorway dropped 10 cent from midnight on Friday, March 11 after the High Court ruled the company operating the toll has been overcharging drivers since January.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly ruled that Celtic Roads Group (Dundalk) Ltd had misinterpreted the by laws for the calculation of tolls.

The NRA claimed Celtic Roads Group (Dundalk) Limited had been overcharging drivers since January 1, 2011.

The authority said that the company did not interpret the relevant by laws correctly and stood to make e26,000 a week or e1.39m a year by overcharging motorists.

The NRA said the toll should have been reduced on January 1 this year from e1.90 to e1.80 per car because the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is used to calculate the toll, had fallen in August 2009.

The company had claimed the regulation was obscure and its effect absurd. It claimed that it had a legitimate expectation that tolls would only ever go up and pointed to what it claimed was a promise by former Transport Minister Noel Dempsey to that effect.

The court has heard that there is no way of repaying motorists who have been overcharged. Celtic Roads Group (Dundalk) Limited will however take time to consider the judgment before deciding if it is to appeal.

The court agreed to place a stay on costs pending that decision. The case has implications for other toll roads, as the operators of the M4, the M8 and N25 roads also refused to lower their prices.