The M1 runs north from Dublin to Dundalk, after which it changes to the A1 and continues on to Belfast. This is an important north-south road link on the island and is part or the Trans-European Road Network (known as Euroroute E01). The M1 begins at Dublin Airport and continues to the boarder with Northern Ireland where it turns into the A1.
Celtic Roads Group Ltd operates a 53-km stretch of the M1 motorway, which begins at Gomanston and ends immediately before Balymascanlan (in Louth). The group inherited existing stretches of the M1 and built a new bypass around Dundalk before taking over maintenance of the motorway. In addition, the group also added 8 km worth of side roads and tie-ins, 12 over- or under-passes and a railway overpass.
The M1 is the portion of the greater N1 that is considered up to motorway standards. The section that is subject to tolls is a high-traffic area that links Ireland’s three largest population centres – Dublin, Belfast and Cork. The addition of the Dundalk bypass allows motorists to pass through the region much more quickly. It has effectively reduced traffic, cut down on delays and expedited travel between Drogheda, Dundalk and Northern Ireland.
Tolls underwrite the maintenance and upkeep of this stretch of the M1, ensuring smooth passage through Ireland’s north-east region. Rates are subject to change, but begin at €1.00 for motorcycles (above 50 cc) and €1.90 for motorcars (as of 2013). For up-to-date toll information, check the National Roads Authority of Ireland website.
There are several ways that tolls are collected. Fares are collected by payment of cash or through electric tolling. The latter is a convenient option; however, it requires registration and the use of an electronic tag on the vehicle. With that in mind, eTolls are more practical for locals than tourists. Tolls are paid in exact change at the barrier to the toll road.
Motorists who leave the tolled portion of the M1 motorway may be able to re-enter within three hours for free. When paying the toll, motorists can request a receipt from a live operator between the hours of 6 a.m. and midnight. Receipts are available 24 hours per day at automatic toll lanes. Simply press the indicated button and the machine will issue a receipt.
Upon re-entering the toll road at the main plaza, simply press the help button to be connected to an operator and give the number from the receipt. Please note that northbound passengers processed through the automatic lane at the main plaza will not be issued a receipt.