EN125 road with potholes

EN125 drivers call for long-promised renovations

Renovations were first announced in 2009… and have yet to move forward

Citizens are calling for the government to finally move forward with the long-promised renovations to the EN125 road between Olhão and Vila Real de Santo António.

In an open letter to Minister of Infrastructures João Galamba, the Citizens’ Movement of Estrada Nacional 125 Users – Sotavento urges the government to counteract the “usual tendency of politicians” to make decisions as a “centralised government” in Lisbon, “far away from the regions that elected them and their populations.”

The movement describes the state of the road between Olhão and Vila Real de Santo António as “horrible and unsafe” and stresses the feeling of “injustice” that people living in the Eastern Algarve feel, given that the revamp of western stretch of the EN125 was completed many years ago.

The renovations on the eastern stretch were announced in 2009 and were due to begin in 2015, with the government later promising to begin the works in the third quarter of 2017 with the goal of completing them in 2018.

But as the movement points out, the “works were never carried out,” apart from the Almargem bridge and the repaving of a stretch of road between the Aldeia Nova roundabout and Vila Nova de Cacela.

“Those who drive daily on this stretch are faced with a very rundown road, filled with several and huge potholes,” the movement laments.

Drivers are “constantly forced to change their route” due to the state of the road, which “jeopardises their safety” especially when weather conditions worsen. The lack of walkable side pavements also forces pedestrians onto the road in some sections, making the road all the more dangerous.

“The EN125 renovations on this stretch have constantly been postponed,” the movement says, adding that entities from the Portuguese State to infrastructures authority Infraestruturas de Portugal and concession company Rotas do Algarve Litoral, SA continue to “push” the blame onto each other.

The movement also stresses that the state of the road gives off a “terrible image” to the countless tourists who arrive in the Algarve by land through Spain, given that the only alternative to the EN125 is the paid A22 motorway.

“Eastern Algarvians are sick and tired of being mistreated and abandoned by authorities, including the governments of Portugal, which have ignored us throughout all these years, showing their neglect with their lack of investment, making people’s lives even harder,” the open letter reads.

On a closing note, the movement demands that the renovations move forward once and for all and urges the government and the region’s political representatives to “fight for the Algarve” and for the renovations to begin as soon as possible.

By Michael Bruxo

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