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Tolls - the Algarve's economic contribution is 'despised' by Lisbon

4812The parliamentary Left Block has proposed a draft resolution demanding an end to the tolls on the Algarve’s formerly free A22 motorway.

Therefore parliament will be discussing the controversial topic on Wednesday, along with the upgrading of the EN125 and upgrade work on the Algarve’s railway line.

Included on the agenda of a regular meeting of the Parliamentary Commission for the Economy and Public Works, the draft resolution calls for the suspension of tolls as the Left Bloc claims the system has “dragged mobility in the Algarve back 20 years.”

The Bloquistas are urging the Government to "proceed to the immediate suspension of tolls on the Via do Infante" and evaluate the "economic and social costs of its implementation", that "recognizes the redevelopment of EN125 as a priority investment" and "the electrification and modernisation of the railway line as a priority investment, crucial for the region."

In the text setting forth its arguments to the Government to justify the Left Bloc’s recommendations , the resolution states that "the Algarve does not have an integrated regional mobility system to support growth and support the regional economy, whose contribution to tourism and national wealth has been, according to the party, "despised."

The Left considers that "mobility has regressed about 20 years as a result of the introduction of tolls on the Via do Infante, the non-renewal of EN125 and the inadequate railway system," and remind us that the government rather conveniently dropped its commitment to upgrade the EN125 as promised when it was introducing tolls and wanted to get the local mayors on side, and there has been a worsening of the accident rate as a result.

This party also pointed to the 50% reduction in traffic on the Via do Infante and the losses incurred by the concession holder, supported by the unwitting taxpayer through subsidy payments.

The Secretary of State for Transport, Sérgio Monteiro, has also been criticised by the Left Bloc as he said in a meeting in Faro that ‘if we finish the EN125 faster, there will be no money for the railroad."

This blackmail was based on an incorrect assumption and was an example of more bullying tactics from Lisbon.

“An end of tolls and the upgrading of the eternally postponed EN125 cannot stop investment in the railway. It is urgent to complete the electrification and modernisation of the railway line in the Algarve due to the new route planned to link with Faro airport and another to link up with the commercial docks in Faro.

These are all valid points and this topic has been discussed before in parliament with zero affect.

The government has made a large financial mistake in granting a license for the concession holder to print money and is not prepared to account for it in an open, inclusive way.

To do so would bring ridicule and the accusation that any sane minister would never have signed the agreement unless coerced or financially induced to do so.

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Comments  

-8 #10 algarveandroid 2015-05-22 15:28
So Euro taxpayers paid for the A22 for the most part , Lisbon ministers sold it off.

Frankly put this is Fraud , but as long as Lisbon is allowed to ignore on the EU mandates on other matters , ie car imports and taxes that are not like the EU shared model , then why would things change?

The Eu does not Need Greece , it does not Need Portugal , and after nearly 20 years they have not integrated fully to be part of the EU contractually....so why should they be still integrated ?

If , as suspected , that the people are stupid enough to believe that the Problem in Portugal stems from being in the EU , from the Socialist politicians that somehow end up wealthy from being politicians , then do they , the electorate , deserve change anyway?

I can concur that the Algarve has indeed regressed 20 years , back to where it was before the inclusion , yet some have not , the rich have got richer , the poor poorer and at an economic and council level its clueless , hence the need for "mother" troika to oversee their nations bank accounts like some manchild still living at home.
-9 #9 cartoon 2015-05-20 20:57
Quoting Peter Booker:
and admitting few chances for corruption. Oops!

Nail on the head I think.
-5 #8 Peter Booker 2015-05-20 14:31
Except for the motorways around Lisbon, those tollroads in Portugal that I have used are mostly empty. As most of these roads were built with EU money, where is the sense in the EU allowing the tolls fiasco, which takes money out of Portugal? The increased costs of tolls for small businesses are too great and many have succumbed to economic pressure.

It must be demonstrated that the silly tolls system is actually holding back the economic recovery of this country. This drag on business figures cannot be in the best interest of either Portugal or the EU.

If the morons in the Portuguese government must have a toll system, what is wrong with the Swiss model, where an extra forty Swiss francs buys for a motorist the right to use all of the motorway system for a whole year? Easily administered, cheap to run and admitting few chances for corruption. Oops!
-6 #7 Ivor Jones 2015-05-20 13:11
I use the Silves, Portimao road at least four times a week and on many occasions I don't see another Vehicle, Somebody must be losing money,, Via Verde or the government, that is, us the public. Have any of the current government passed the 11plus. Apart from the leftblock of course.
-4 #6 cartoon 2015-05-20 11:38
Well who did sign th agreement on behalf of the government ?
-4 #5 shelagh compton 2015-05-20 11:07
what a terrible waste of a road, that did not cost portugal a penny, and would save a lot of lives,if we were able to use it,at no cost.p
-3 #4 Simon 2015-05-20 10:45
A22 toll is disastrous. It's halved traffic and forced the other half onto the EN125 without upgrades and causing more accidents including fatalities. Given that the road was built with EU money, it has not even raised any money with the taxpayer paying shortfalls to the concession holder. So scraping fees would not cost more than at present?!
+4 #3 S.Croft 2015-05-20 08:55
Many locals myself included refuse to use the A22 until it is a free road again.People living here are adamant that the tolls should be removed relieving congestion on the 125 ,which is becoming quite dangerous on some stretches due to potholes etc...
The government need to wake up and smell the roses & listen to it´s people.
+5 #2 liveaboard 2015-05-20 06:58
Whoever did sign the toll concession agreement should be financially audited.
Once the money is found, the contracts can be annulled.
+1 #1 Guy Curious 2015-05-19 21:43
Where do I find a sane minister in Portugal?

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