The Algarve’s anti-tolls group CUVI has accused the ruling Socialist Party (PS) of “failing to fulfil its promise for the fifth time” after it voted against two proposals in parliament to abolish tolls on the Algarve’s A22 motorway – also known as Via do Infante.
The accusation came after two proposals – one presented by Bloco de Esquerda (BE) to abolish tolls on the A22 and another put forward by the Communist Party (PCP) to eliminate tolls on every ex-SCUT (roads that used to be toll-free) – were rejected by PS and CDS-PP. PSD abstained from the vote.
In a statement to the press, CUVI highlights that it was the “fifth straight time” that PS has voted against including the abolishment of the A22 motorway tolls in a State Budget.
“PSD merely chose to abstain, as it knew that it would be enough for PS to vote against the proposals presented by BE and PCP,” the group says.
CUVI adds that PS “has once again shown its arrogance and disregard towards the Algarve and its people” and that Prime Minister António Costa has “forgotten the promises he made to Algarvians in 2015”.
The protestors say that Costa promised them that he would review the motorway’s public-private partnership and “eliminate the tolls in the Algarve if he became PM” as the only alternative – the EN125 road – was a “cemetery” due to the high number of fatal accidents.
“As we know, apart from the substantial losses that they have caused on an economic, financial and mobility level, the tolls have led to a huge increase in road accidents in the Algarve, with many victims especially on the EN125, where renovations have yet to begin between Olhão and Vila Real de Santo António,” CUVI adds.
As the group points out, the EN125 is considered “one of the most dangerous and deadly roads in the country”.
Data shows that there were 10,612 road accidents in the Algarve in 2019, with 36 fatalities and 220 people seriously injured.
CUVI says that these numbers are a “tragedy” for the region and the “politicians who insist on maintaining these unfair and criminal tolls should be ashamed of themselves”.