I refer to my letter on the above subject, printed in your edition of March 2 and your helpful advice in making contact with Via Livre in connection with my complaint i.e. three different tolls paid for three identical trips covered i.e. Jct 9 to Jct 14 and return.
I made contact with them on March 2 and they replied with a request for varying documentation to prove the toll amounts paid, proof of ownership of the vehicle and other identifying paperwork. I have no issue with this and indeed provided same by return.
On March 7 I received further communication from Via Livre, quote “We found that there was a lapse in our system, so we shall proceed to rectify the situation, but there is no credit in your favour, so we consider your complaint closed” unquote.
What sort of reply is that and of no use or help to anyone? I emailed them back, acknowledging their email and just asked a simple question – “in view of their findings, can they please advise me the correct toll that should be paid on a trip from Jct 9 to Jct 14 and return?”
They replied but again requested full set of car documentation to prove who I was and what vehicle I owned (already in their possession) – I of course told them this and again repeated my request for a toll fee – again an acknowledgement and again a request for full documentation – I have now given up.
What this proves (at least to me) is that the toll amounts advertised on the motorway mean nothing, even if you could understand what they are saying, no-one is in control, and no-one knows the correct charges to be levied.
This is not a toll system, it is a lottery and you end up paying whatever is deemed to be correct on the day – an absolute disgrace.
Richard James, Albufeira
Portuguese government’s decision to make the A22 a toll road is completely insane! This is the only alternative to the EN125. Anyone who has driven that road knows how dangerous and treacherous it is.
The way the toll is paid is even one step further into madness. Who is crazy enough to invent such a stupid system?
Is the government trying to suffocate Algarve and keep visitors away? Tolls? NO!
Lisa de Gooijer, The Netherlands
Not the last word I am sure! I have been fascinated by all the letters around the tolls issue.
As a regular traveller to the Algarve, the implementation of the tolls and the confusion on payment has been well documented in your columns.
My view for what it is worth is this: the owner of the car is the one liable for the toll dues. Therefore, the car hire companies have to come up with a system where they ‘up’ the cost of hire to cover their expected toll charges (win some lose some) or they ask clients to leave money on an honesty box solution or request an open cheque!
Clients will not be happy with leaving an open cheque/credit slip voucher signed for money to be taken at a later date.
The solution for me, therefore, seems to be, hire companies get the accountants working on an increased car hire charge that will cover predicted costs (statisticians among you will come up with a formula to calculate risk in this area).
Clients hand the car back on leaving the country and the car firm settle the toll account at their leisure (queue at the Post office if they wish).
Well done the Brits for all the queuing at post offices trying to make sense of a ridiculous system!
John Clark, by email
For many years my family have visited the Algarve and have been frequent users of the entire stretch of the A22.
When compared to such as the free M1 in the UK, the road usage is a trickle and I wonder how much is being collected from the tolls implemented.
I for one will not be returning to the Algarve until these road taxes have been scrapped.
I just hope that not too much damage is done to the local economy.
Roy Hirst, by email