Algarve associations reinforce “no tolls” message

ALGARVE BUSINESS groups have repeated their opposition to tolls on the Via do Infante, following recent government suggestions that changes on SCUT (sem cobrança para o utilizador) toll-free routes could be introduced.

Officials from the Associação dos Hotéis e Empreendimentos Turísticos do Algarve (AHETA), the Algarve hotel and resorts association, Associação dos Industriais Hoteleiros e Similares do Algarve (AIHSA) the association for the hotel industry and similar enterprises, andthe Associação de Comércio e Serviços da Região do Algarve (ACRAL) the association of Algarve retailers and service providers, expressed their “surprise” at recent government declarations on tolls, interpreting them as a potential attempt to reverse the Socialist Party’s election pledges.

The organisations say that businesses and residents are not making “an egotistical demand for special concessions” but merely defending conditions that will enable the region’s tourist economy to remain competitive.

They consider that the introduction of tolls would impossibly overload the EN125, which is “nothing more than a road”, and trigger “unimaginable chaos”. The associations remind the government that revenue from the Algarve has made an invaluable contribution to the overall economy, responsible for 3.5 billion euros in external receipts every year.