Minister proposes tolls to pay for motorway upkeep

Minister proposes tolls to pay for motorway upkeep

CREDIT: Gerald Lobenweim - Pixabay

THE Minister of Transport, Jose Luis Abalos, has suggested introducing tolls on high-capacity Spanish roads, such as motorways, to pay for their maintenance.

According to Spanish daily, this measure has been on the books for several years now due to the poor condition the roads are in, and now it will be debated as part of the new road safety laws that the government is planning.
With the previous financial crisis, investment in motorways fell drastically and it has not yet been resumed. Another option to help with the upkeep of motorways is allocating EU funds, but they are not really top of the list of priorities.
The plan is for everyone to pay the tolls, although Abalos said this week that people who have to use them to get to work would not have to pay.
Fees have not yet been set, but the suggestion proposed by construction companies was for €0.09 per kilometre for light vehicles and €0.19 for heavy vehicles.
While the government has decided not to renew concessions with the companies managing some of the toll motorways, and in recent months, roads like the AP-7 and the AP-4 have become free, as will the AP-2 next year.
However, the government has justified, it is unfair for some areas of Spain to have tolls while others don’t.
The plan is supported by construction companies but opposed by transport companies and the general public, as usual the opposition parties and regional governments are sceptical about it.
The proposal is due to be discussed over the next few weeks as part of the road safety laws.

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Jennifer Leighfield

Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics. Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.