By Ron Howells • 25 April 2021 • 8:45
Brussels Wants To End Spains ‘Virtually Toll-Free’ Paradise For Drivers.
Did you know that Spain is looked upon by its European neighbours as being an almost ‘toll-free paradise’? This could be about to end however as pressure from Brussels could mean that after years of mostly toll-free driving, Spanish roads could become a lot more expensive.
According to recent reports, the Spanish government has already drafted a project to present in Brussels in which it describes how it will introduce a toll system across its network of motorways and high-capacity roads to cover their burdening maintenance costs. It is now understood that Spain’s national government has wanted to introduce toll systems in line with its EU neighbours for a couple of years now.
Confused? The government announced only recently announced that some toll roads will become free!
Some sections of the AP-1 and different sections of the AP-7 and AP-4 are already free and more toll roads will become free during 2021. 2021 was supposed to mark the transition of more toll roads becoming free in Spain. The plan not to extend the concessions on the toll roads once their signed contract periods have concluded still remains in force.
Before the pandemic struck thousands of British expats embarked on their yearly trip back to blighty to visit family and friends and maybe stock up on a few essentials they couldn’t get here. Some drove straight to Santander-Bilboa while others passed through Valencía up the north of Spain and into France where they had the option of the channel tunnel or the ferry from Calais etc.
Imagine taking that journey in future but paying to use every motorway, the costs will soon mount up, possibly adding another €200 to the journey- there and back remember- that’s if Brussels bungling bureaucrats have their way of course!
In Spain as a whole, tolls must be paid on about 20% of the motorway network; the rest is free. However, there are big variations by region- in Catalonia for example over half the state motorway network is composed of toll routes, but still, it is cheaper to drive here in Spain- 76 per cent less actually.
As An Example, How Much Do French Toll Roads Cost?
You should expect to pay between 15-40 € when entering a toll road in France. You can pay the toll with euro coins and a selection of cards. It’s recommended to bring cash as not all foreign credit cards are accepted at the toll booths.
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Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!.
Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.
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