Jorge Botelho, president of the Algarve municipalities association (AMAL) and mayor of Tavira, has urged the government to “hurry up” and lower the region’s A22 motorway toll prices as soon as possible, ideally before summer is in full swing.
He told Lusa news agency that lowering toll prices before the start of summer “is in everyone’s interest”, and would actually encourage more holidaymakers to use the motorway instead of the Algarve’s infamous EN125 ‘death road’.
“I truly believe that revenue may increase with the price reduction,” he said, explaining the benefits it would have on the “economy, the road’s concessionaire, as well as drivers’ safety and mobility”.
“The government itself said that there were studies that showed that the lower prices would lead to higher revenue,” he added.
According to Botelho, the A22 is Portugal’s formerly free motorway (ex-SCUT) that suffered the most from the introduction of tolls in 2011, with an over 50% decrease in traffic.
“There’s no point in dragging on the price reduction for any longer,” he stressed.
In April, the Portuguese government confirmed that several motorway charges – including those on the Algarve’s A22 – would drop “this summer” – not specifying exactly when and how significant the reduction would be.
Prime Minister António Costa said yesterday (June 15) in Parliament that the Minister of Planning and Infrastructures “has been involved in the necessary negotiations to apply the price reductions this summer”, but did not commit to a deadline.