The Users Committee of the Via do Infante, CUVI, is stepping up its protest action against tolls in the Algarve while roundly condemning parts of the current EN 125 roadworks.
The number of accidents in the Algarve since the beginning of the year is 3,608, most of them on the EN125, with 9 deaths and 56 serious injuries.
CUVI is highly critical of many aspects of the EN125 upgrade and points to planning blunders with many long stretches of central reservation prohibiting access for emergency vehicles and actually hindering the flow of traffic.
CUVI, and many other observers, have spotteed the construction of roundabouts in places where there was no junction, the construction of roundabouts in some very dangerous places, and the current lane restrictions in many urban areas that currently are causing major traffic difficulties for passenger and goods vehicles and is increasing the risk of accidents.
The Users Committee says that the "Algarve missed a great opportunity on May 6th this year when parliament kicked out a number of proposals for the abolition of tolls on the Via do Infante as the PS, PSD and CDS/PP ganged up to vote down the proposals.”
The committee reminds us that PM António Costa has yet to fulfil his promise of at least reducing toll costs on the Via do Infante after he agreed that “the EN125 is a cemetery.”
On Sunday June 19th CUVI members will be in Lagoa distributing leaflets with a protest at the unfinished roundabout from 17.30.
On Monday June 20th, at 11.00, a memorial will be placed at the dangerous Pêra accident black-spot on the EN125, a junction that mysteriously is not being turned into a roundabout despite being one of the places where building one would save lives.
Later on the Monday its off to Boliqueime where from 17.30 there will be a protest at the Fonte de Boliqueime roundabout and a slow drive to Patã, where only a few days ago there was another fatality.
The government is now aware that reducing toll charges on the Via do Infante will bring about a rise in overall revenue yet still refuses to act.
CUVI's actions and objectives over the years have been consistent, as have successive governments whose callous treatment of the Algarve's economy and mobility has led to widespread local resentment - and now astonishment that the socialist prime minister refuses to act despite his pre-election promises.
Pinocchio paradox: What would happen if Pinocchio said "My nose will be growing"?
I'm sure all other readers are as shocked as I am...