The measure, which is in the State Budget for 2021 (OE2021), determines "a 50 percent discount on the toll fee, applicable to each transaction", with effect from Thursday, 1 July, 2021.

The motorway stretches and sub-stretches covered by this measure are those identified in annex i to decree-law no. 67-A/2010, including in the Costa de Prata Concession: A17 - Mira (LC concession)/Aveiro Nascente, A25 - Pirâmides (Aveiro Oeste)/Albergaria (BLA concession), A29 - Angeja/Maceda, A29 - Maceda/(A29/A44); in the Grande Porto Concession: A4 - Sendim/Águas Santas, A41 - Freixieiro/Ermida (IC25), A42 - (IC24/IC25)/Felgueiras; and in the Norte Litoral Concession: A28 - IC 24/Viana do Castelo.

The 50 percent discount on the toll fee also covers the motorway sections and subsections referred to in Decree-Law No. 111/2011, namely A22, which is part of the Algarve Concession; A23, from the Estradas de Portugal Concession; A23, from the Beira Interior Concession; A24, from the North Interior Concession; and A25, from the Beira Litoral/Beira Alta concession.

OE2021 also determines "a 75 percent discount on the toll fee applicable in each transaction, for electric and non-polluting vehicles", but the Government explained that "the implementation of the discount scheme provided for electric and non-polluting vehicles will imply the adoption of a significant set of technical operational measures that the measure from entering into force on 1 July, 2021”.

The Government is going to create a system of modulation of the value of toll fees for vehicles of classes 2, 3 and 4 for the road transport of goods and passengers, for the motorways covered by the new discount model provided for in OE2021.

In this sense, “the toll fees for vehicles of classes 1, 2, 3 and 4 on the sections and sub-motorways of the A4 - Túnel do Marão and A4 - Vila Real-Bragança (Quintanilha) motorways are reduced by 15 percent”, decided the Government, according to the resolution of the Council of Ministers, approved on 17 June of this year.

Approval of discounts

The proposal for discounts of 50 percent on the toll fee for all vehicles and 75 percent for electric and non-polluting vehicles was presented by the PSD and approved by parliament under the OE2021 law.

The approval of the measure caused some controversy. Despite the opposition, on 19 May, the Minister of Territorial Cohesion said, in parliament, that she would comply with the OE2021 law regarding a 50 percent reduction in tolls in ex-SCUT (ex tolls free of charge for the user) from 1 July of this year.

The minister highlighted that she has always defended the reduction of tolls, but for it to be done gradually "because the impacts are high".

Ana Abrunhosa then pointed out that the 50 percent reduction of tolls in the former SCUT also "implies complex contractual issues" with concessions and sub-concessions, with whom it is necessary to "negotiate financial balances", considering that a large part of the concessions ends in 2023.

The Government estimated an impact of €160 million annually due to this reduction in tolls.