Limerick tunnel operating profits double 

DirectRoute's Limerick business posted a 38% increase in revenue last year, reaching €31m
Limerick tunnel operating profits double 

Limerick Tunnel Toll Plaza. Picture: Dan Linehan

Operating profits for DirectRoute (Limerick), the company that operates Limerick's tolled tunnel, more than doubled to over €16m.

DirectRoute used "operating payments" from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) as a cushion for the impact of Covid-19 travel restrictions last year.

The Government body made nearly €9m of these payments to DirectRoute's Limerick operations in 2021, as transport was one of the main industries impacted by pandemic restrictions.

These payments helped boost DirectRoute's Limerick business, as last year it posted a 38% increase in revenue, which reached €31m.

The DirectRoute firm also received "traffic guarantee" payments of over €8m from TII.

The traffic guarantee payments are made when daily traffic volumes do not exceed 23,000 and they were put in place at the outset of the project in order to attract consortia to bid to build the scheme.

DirectRoute was awarded the Limerick Tunnel contract after tendering the least cost bid to the State for the construction, maintenance, and operations of the Limerick Tunnel Project in 2006.

The company’s toll income last year increased by 15.4% from nearly €12m almost €14m.

The directors said “the overall financial performance of the company has not been impacted by reduced traffic volumes as a result of coronavirus due to traffic guarantee payments”.

“Covid-19-related travel restrictions continued into 2022 but on February 28, 2022, substantially all remaining restrictions were lifted. As a result, and as experienced during the second half of 2021, traffic volumes have been increasing,” they said.

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