Algarve protestors to say no to tolls today

By DAISY SAMPSON [email protected]

A protest against the proposed tolls on the A22 is to take place today (Friday) along the EN125 between 5pm and 7pm.

The buzinão, a protest involving the slow driving of cars while using their horns, has been organised by the Comissão de Utentes da A22, with the focus of the demonstration planned to take place on the EN125 between Boliqueime and Alcantarilha in the central Algarve.

The Comissão de Utentes da A22 is a commission of users that has been formed to fight against the tolls in the Algarve and is run as a non political party.  Members of the commission have been drawn from local businesses, political parties and concerned residents all fighting to prevent the introduction of the tolls in the region.

A spokesman for the commission said: “We are appealing to all motorists and citizens of the Algarve to come together on October 8 on the EN125 to demonstrate that it is not a viable alternative to the A22.”

According to the commission, road users travelling between Faro and Portimão on the A22 will have to pay approximately 10 Euros per day to use the road ,resulting in a monthly bill of around 200 Euros, when the tolls are introduced in April 2011.

Mendes Bota, the president of the PSD Algarve political party, said: “We are urging members and supporters of the commission to attend the protest to represent the discontent of the Algarve people.”

He added: “Most people see the A22 as a distinctly different case to other toll proposals in Portugal, and we reaffirm that the Via do Infante is not a SCUT road, furthermore, I see this as a financial dispossession of the Algarve region.”

At a meeting on Monday, the Algarve Municipal Câmaras Association (AMAL) said it opposed the tolls on the A22 but only until the EN125 was completely redeveloped and added that it would not be supporting the protest today as it did not believe “an attitude of rupture with the government” was the solution.

AMAL has requested a meeting with the Prime Minister, José Sócrates, in an attempt to convince him to delay the introduction of tolls in the Algarve until work on the EN125 is completed, which is expected to be in June 2012.

Meanwhile, a petition against the tolls has also been launched by the commission. This official petition will be presented to the government detailing how those who have signed it do not see the A22 “as a form of luxury but as a necessary part of the regional infrastructure” and that even after works to upgrade the EN125 it will “still not represent an alternative to the A22.”

If you would like to sign the petition against the tolls on the A22, please visit http://viadoinfante2010.blogspot.com (only available in Portuguese). 

Alternatively visit The Resident Group stand at the BLiP exhibition to be held at the ExpoArade centre in Portimão on October 16 and 17, and a member of the team will guide you through the process online. 

Please remember that to sign the petition you need to provide an Identity Card or passport number.

If you have a view on the subject, please email us at [email protected] You can also read recently posted comments from Algarve Resident readers by clicking on ‘say no to tolls’.