António Mexia, the Minister of Public Works, Transport and Communications, has criticised Algarve authorities for planning a boycott against tolls on the Via do Infante (A22). The Minister says the non-implementation of tolls could jeopardise a planned 240 million euro investment in the Algarve’s road network.
The government’s response came in the light of a massive demonstration planned for the first fortnight in November by the region’s business associations, in conjunction with the Algarve Tourist Board (RTA).
“We are going to launch a whole range of activities against tolls on the A22, involving all the Algarve’s main associations, civic institutions, politicians and residents From who wish to participate,” said Macário Correia, President of the Algarve’s Regional Assembly. “The EN125 offers no alternative whatsoever – this is an ill-prepared proposal. The government has announced a 240 million euro package for road improvements but only 10 per cent of this money will go to improve the EN125 and, therefore, will fail to address the problems of this road.”
Many prominent voices have added their support to the fight against tolls, including Faro’s former Civil Governor, Cabrita Neto. He reminded the audience at a press conference that only three years ago the Prime Minister at the time had described the A22, as “a fundamental infrastructure” and had said that the application of tolls would be “impermissible”.