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Ghost road

Dear Editor,

We have a villa in Porto de Mós, near Lagos, which we travel to frequently and I cannot believe what the government were thinking when they decided to make the A22 a toll road.

It was never busy at the best of times and now it’s almost a ghost road.

It’s obvious the country needs to find ways of bringing extra revenue into the coffers but this isn’t the way to do it.

The local working population are already suffering from lack of investment and employment and now they have to contend with this which forces them, if they are lucky, to use the side roads and create even more traffic and reduced productivity. I bet accidents have increased as well.

We have a journey of about 80km from the airport and we returned from Portugal today so we decided to count the number of vehicles we saw from Lagos until the exit to the airport and it was a staggering 105 and quite a large number was around the Almancil area.

We have friends that have villas at Quinta who don’t need now use the motorway and let’s face it, anybody who owns a villa in this area can hardly squabble about a couple of euros.

We, on the other hand, have to pay the equivalent of £10 to have the privilege, which is unreasonable and it will only force tourists to look at other destinations with Spain the most likely to reap the benefits of this action.

How long before the petrol stations and food outlets close on the A22?

The cost of installation and monitoring of the tolls will probably take the government 10 years to recover with this method of taxation by which time Europe may not even exist in its present form if these are the kind of decisions being made.

A far better solution would have been to have a levy on all people that travel into and out of the country whether it’s by air, sea, road or rail which would make it fair on all tourists and they could probably reduce the amount to something which wouldn’t make a big significance to the pockets of families but more important it would help the local population who are suffering from a deep recession which will only dissipate with increased productivity.

I also have a question – are owners of properties locally considered resident? Some people have said yes which means there are some allowances. What’s the real story?

KEITH AMATO, by email

Editor’s note: Dear Keith, thank you for your comments. Only property owners who have Residência in Portugal are entitled to the 10 free trips per month.