Residents of inland areas of the borough of Odemira are desperately calling for renovations to the rundown EN266 linking the Alentejo to the Algarve.
They say that a 20km section of the road – used constantly by populations of Luzianes, São Martinho das Amoreiras and Santa Clara-a-Velha – is filled with potholes and poses huge risks to drivers and their vehicles.
They say conditions are so bad that they dissuade visitors from exploring the countryside, and so impact heavily on the local economy.
“The situation has been getting worse for years and nothing changes,” parish council president Manuel Martins told Correio da Manhã
Portugal’s infrastructure authority (IP) says it cannot carry out any repairs before next year. Martins says this is not good enough.
The situation has caused businesses to close because no-one travels along the road unless they have to – and “restaurants only survive thanks to local people”.
Distributor Manuel Rodrigues, who delivers bread, agrees the road is a menace, “You dodge one pothole and fall right into another,” he said.
The EN266 is classified as a national road and as such falls under the jurisdiction of IP.
Odemira council has told the authority that it is willing to help pay for and support renovations but so far says it has not received a response.