Figures obtained by Deputy John Deasy from the National Roads Authority show a substantial 20% increase in truck traffic across Ireland's the country's tolled routes since 2010-11.
The N25 Waterford Bypass toll bridge, which opened in October 2009, saw a 50% rise in Heavy Goods Vehicles over the period 2010-2014.
Some 175,000 HGVs passed through the plaza during its first full year in operation. Volumes have steadily increased since to the extent that 262,000 trucks used it in 2014.
The National Roads Authority figures in respect of non-HGVs also confirm a near-year-on-year increase (albeit with a dip between 2011 and 2012) — from the 1.697 million other vehicle types recorded at the Waterford toll station in 2010 to a total of 1.92m last year.
John Deasy said: “You’ll get a different interpretation of the significance of these figures depending on who you ask. That the trend is upwards which seems to be somewhat encouraging, although the cause of the increase is debatable.”
He acknowledged that the extensive roadworks on the quay in Waterford in recent years may have been a factor in hauliers and other motorists opting to take the toll road instead.