This summer promises traffic jams

Tunnels often seem to attract traffic jams Credit: Michael Kappel flickr

If you are a resident almost anywhere on the Costa del Sol, you will know that the summer promises traffic jams on the roads.

If you are a visitor it might come as something of a surprise that it’s not much fun being stuck in a long traffic jam which could be several kilometres long especially if it’s hot and your air conditioning isn’t working too well.

The two major causes are the influx of much welcome visitors who bring prosperity to the coast and the amount of building of new property without any apparent thought for the volume of new traffic created.

You can use the AP7 but ……

To get from Malaga Airport to Fuengirola, Marbella and beyond, drivers can choose to take the AP7 toll road which isn’t too busy but the toll escalates in the summer to generate as much money as possible for the company running it.

What many don’t realise however is that the AP7 isn’t an exclusive motorway but at different times joins with the A7, the free to use motorway so whilst part of the journey may be fast and easy, expect not only far higher levels of traffic when you hit those patches but in many cases the speed limit drops from 120kph to 80 kph.

For decades there were long queues if you were heading from Estepona towards Puerto Banus and Marbella with a choke at the town of San Pedro Alcantara – it even got worse when it was decided to build a tunnel to bypass San Pedro and then relief came when it was opened.

Queues in tunnel

That was great for a few years, but now all that has happened is that the queue actually starts in the tunnel and goes on  for several kilometres until you get to the Puerto Banus turn off and it appears that the powers that be have now installed speed cameras at the entrance of the tunnel, although they will be redundant for most of the time!

A7 is free

The A7 is a free two lane motorway which runs from Cadiz Province all the way to Torremolinos and even though speed is mainly limited to 80kph, much of the journey sees traffic flow relatively well but as soon as there is an accident anywhere on the road, in either direction, the queues really start to build up until the vehicle or vehicles can be moved.

In some weeks in summer, there is an added hazard as the annual pilgrimage is undertaken by drivers and their families in often old and overloaded vehicles heading to or from the ports of Algeciras or Tarifa to catch ferries to Morocco.

Although the Spanish can be somewhat quixotic in their driving habits, many seeming to believe that it costs money to use the indicator or that the gap between cars is not for safety but somewhere for them to squeeze into, they are generally quite safe, although their habits may take a bit of getting used to.

Be patient

All in all you can get from A to B eventually but you have to be prepared to be patient and try to avoid  rush hours from about 8am to 9.30am and 6pm to 8pm.

Just be grateful that the schools have broken up as the hazard of parents parking anywhere in order to drop off or pick up their loved ones disappears for a couple of months.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

John Smith

Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica. Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene. Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development. Share your story with us by emailing, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page