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A sad day

An Algarve MP who instigated the construction of the A22 using EU funds says December 8 was a “sad day” for the Algarve with the introduction of tolls.

Although wearing the government’s colours, Social Democrat Mendes Bota expressed his discontent on the day tolls were implemented along the 130km stretch of road, from Vila Real de Santo António to Lagos.

He reminded citizens that it was he who, in the 80s when an MEP, initiated the “battle” to construct the A22-Via do Infante and that, using EU funds, two-thirds of the road was built.

Referring to the Algarve’s main anti-tolls group, the A22 Users’ Commission, led by Bloco de Esquerda’s João Vasconcelos, Mendes Bota said it was never his wish to join a group that was “clearly moved by a left-wing political agenda”.

Mendes Bota added: “This is a sad day for the Algarve. The region’s vital interests were not taken into consideration.

“We now need to look carefully at the EN125, its redevelopment, traffic flow, potential rise in road accident numbers and, of course, the impact the tolls could have on the economy.”