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Abtran and Vinci win €373m contract to operate M50 tolls

 A partnership of Irish company Abtran and French road-builder Vinci could make €373 million over 15 years for operating the tolling system on the Republic’s busiest motorway.

State agency Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) has awarded the contract to operate the toll system on the M50 motorway that skirts Dublin to Turas Mobility Services, a joint venture between Abtran and Vinci. The contract could be worth €373 million to Turas over 15 years.

The agreement between the joint venture and the State body initially runs to 2031, but TII has the discretion to extend it to 15 years.

TII originally awarded the contract to Turas two years ago, but Emovis, the company which operates the M50 toll system, challenged this in the courts. Last year the High Court ruled that the TII decision to award the contract to Turas was legitimate.

A statement issued by Vinci Highways on Thursday valued the deal at €373 million. Transition to the new contractor will last into the first quarter of 2021.

The M50 ringroad is the Republic’s busiest motorway. An average 145,000 vehicles travel along it every day.

Abtran and the French group will operate the M50’s system which records and charges for vehicle journeys on the road digitally, and does not use tolling booths.

Gantry crane

The contract covers installing a new gantry crane with sensors to detect vehicles, along with cameras and beacons for reading registration plates and tags. It will also include designing a new data processing system.

Abtran provided customer support to TII for the digital Eflow road tolling system between 2009 and 2017.

The company employs 2,000 people in Cork, Dublin and Sligo, providing customer support for State and private sector organisations.

Its chairman, Mike Maloney, said it looked forward to working with Vinci and TII.

“Abtran’s unique experience of large-scale transitions and set-ups with Irish customers gives us an unequalled expertise,” Mr Maloney said Vinci Highways designs, builds and manages roads and has operations in 14 countries, with successful projects in large cities such as London, Dallas, Moscow and Lima.