"Finest feckin toll system the world!"
Belfast Telegraph (Ireland)
The new barrier-free tolling system on Dublin's M50 motorway is reportedly operating incorrectly for about 10,000 vehicles-a-day.
Reports this morning say the system is making mistakes on around 10% of the traffic using the West-Link toll bridge.
The system is failing to read electronic tags and number plates, with some motorists wrongly receiving payment demands and fine warnings.
Motorists whose cars were not on the M50 are also reportedly receiving bills for journeys they did not make.
The National Roads Authority is continuing to insist that the system will be "the finest in the world" when it is bedded in.
© 2008 Belfast Telegraph:www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk
Motorists urged not to pay incorrect toll bills
TIM O'BRIEN and PATRICK LOGUE
Motorists have been urged not to pay bills for barrier-free tolling on the Dublin’s M50 if they have been billed incorrectly.
AA Ireland said motorists the “length and breadth of the country” are receiving payment demands for journeys they did not make on the road.
According to Department of Transport figures released today, the electronic tolling system failed to operate correctly for about 20,000 vehicles a day in the first week of its introduction. The failure rate has dropped since then, but still stands at about 10,000 vehicles a day, or 10 per cent of all West-Link traffic.
The failure rate results from the system failing to read tags or misreading them, failures in reading number plates and human error in matching photos of number plates with registered tag holders.
Failures were also caused by "back office" systems. These included tags not being read by the new sensors on an overhead gantry about 500 metres north of the former toll plaza.
The National Roads Authority said it was “eliminating the errors all the time". The spokesman added that, when bedded in, the new electronic tolling system would be "the finest in the world".
Meanwhile, some motorists have been sent demands for payment of "second-round" €40 fines, in advance of the deadline for such a fine. These second-round fines, amounting to €40 in addition to the toll charges, should come into effect after 14 days.
“This is infuriating,” said AA Ireland’s public affairs manager Conor Faughnan. “The thing is taking on a life of its own.
“Reams of paper are being sent out, causing waves of phone calls to come in. Frankly, it’s a mess. We were told to expect teething problems but this is unacceptable and will have to be resolved soon.”
“Motorists do not deserve this. The mess is not of their making, and they should not be expected to be the ones to resolve it. It is not reasonable to expect people to queue for ages to get through to a call centre. We are all busy enough. The NRA needs to put its house in order.”
The AA advised motorists not to pay and not be alarmed at the threat of a €5,000 fine or 6 months imprisonment. The group also said motorists should keep records, to inform eFlow about the problem by email or by post.
© 2008 Irish Times:www.irishtimes.com
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