"The increase in tolls represents a New Year's gift of 140 million euros that the Government gave to concessionaires", CUVI spokesman João Vasconcelos told the Lusa agency, who assured the continuation of the fight, throughout 2023, for the abolition of tolls on the only motorway in the Algarve.
The route taken on the Via do Infante (A22) between Lagos and Castro Marim rose, for a class 1 car, from 6.30 to 6.60 euros, an increase of 30 cents, which represents an increase of 4.8%.
The contracts signed with the concessionary companies provided for an increase in tolls to be identical to the level of inflation, of around 10%.
However, to minimize the impact of the price rise in 2023, the Government reached an agreement to pay 140 million euros to the concessionaires, which is equivalent to 2.8% of the increase, with users having to pay a maximum of up to 4. 9% and the companies that run these routes the remainder.
João Vasconcelos, who is a former member of the Bloco de Esquerda, recalled that the part paid by the Government to the concessionaires comes from the General State Budget, that is, “from the taxpayers' pockets”.
The spokesperson also criticised the lack of compliance with a resolution passed in the Assembly of the Republic on June 19, 2020, that stipulated the suspension of tolls on Via do Infante until National Road (EN) 125 was “requalified”.
The section of the EN 125 between Olhão and Vila Real de Santo António, in the eastern Algarve, remains to be reclassified, after being left out of the concession.
João Vasconcelos insists that the EN125, which also crosses the Algarve, along the coast, “is not an alternative to Via do Infante”.
Tolls on the old roads at no cost to the user (SCUT) - A22 (Via do Infante), A23 (Torres Novas/Guarda), A24 (Viseu/Chaves), and A25 (Aveiro/Vilar Formoso) - were introduced by the Government in December 08, 2011.
Why should you be different to the rest of the Country.??????
By J from Lisbon on 08 Jan 2023, 09:28
Why it should be free? Let's start by saying that public transportation across the Algarve is bad pt unexisting.
The A22 was funded 100% by the EU to stimulate local economy. There's need to be a viable free alternative which N125 is not. Just try to go through it from Lagos to VR Santo Antônio, good luck. Lastly, the Algarve depends on a seasonal economy (Tourism +/- 8 months) leading to have the highest unemployment in the country and one of the lowest avg salaries as well. So do the math on a 650 euro net salary how much we are pay to drive every day from Albufeira to Faro. Not fare????
By NS from Algarve on 10 Jan 2023, 07:15
Isn't it about time the tolls were abolished? It would be the single biggest change to stimulate the economy that could be made! Evidence from many countries, notably Norway as well as Canada, where tolls are used to only cover the cost of road building, then stopped, shows that traffic on non-toll motorways increases many times over with a commensurate reduction on smaller local roads. This reduces emissions greatly in town and villages as the biggest pollutors, heavy goods vehicles, move en-mass away from non-toll roads. How will the government make up the difference? Enforce the IVA regulations better. IVA avoidance is a national sport in Portugal with all social classes intent on avoiding it!
By Russell Taylor from Other on 25 Jan 2023, 11:19