The proposal to scrap the tolls on the Algarve’s Via do Infante motorway has been rejected by MPs in a vote last Friday.
This is the ninth time this subject has come up for debate and the ninth time it has been rejected by Socialist Party MPs, despite the abolition of tolls being a pre-election promise by António Costa before he became the prime minister.
The proposal also was rejected by the opposition PSD and CDS-PP parties and not exactly helped by abstentions from Communist Part and some Left Bloc MPs.
Socialist MPs, Luís Graça, Jamila Madeira, Fernando Anastácio and Ana Passos voted in favour of abolition but theirs are small voices in this debate that has good sense on its side but powerful economic interests ensuring the status quo is maintained.
Socialist MP, Fernando Anastácio, said that, "his electoral commitment for this legislature was to reduce the cost of tolls," which has happened but not so much that anyone has really noticed.
Algarve Left Bloc MP, João Vasconcelos, said that the number of fatal accidents on the EN125 ‘road of death’ continues to rise and that he "considers it unfair to collect tolls from taxpayers."
The User Commission of the Via do Infante (CUVI) said that between 1st and 21st of January, there were 453 road accidents in the region, 39 more than last year, with 2 fatalities and 11 serious injuries.