ACRAL, the Algarve retailers’ association, is worried the government may want to reduce the region’s A22 motorway toll prices by just 15% – a far cry from the 50% reduction that was expected and miles away from the pleas to scrap the tolls altogether.
In a statement, the retailers cite a study by Infraestruturas de Portugal that evaluates the impact of a 15% reduction – which ACRAL suspects may indicate the government wants to lower the tolls by just 15%.
“If that is the decision, then we oppose it,” ACRAL president Álvaro Viegas says in a statement. “It would mean that a promise to reduce the tolls by 50% would be broken”.
ACRAL wants the tolls to be reduced at least by 25% for now and then gradually implement a 50% price reduction, “as promised”.
Viegas stresses that the IP study found that a 35% reduction on formerly-free SCUT roads such as the A22 would still be “beneficial” for the state’s coffers.
The truth is that summer is already here, and the toll prices remain the same.
“We’re entering the two peak months of summer, and there’s still no decision (about the price reduction): this is bad for the A22 users, tourism, businesses, the economy, the Algarve as a whole and even the state’s revenue,” Viegas says.