Government forgets Algarve's 'road of death' ... again

Government forgets Algarve's 'road of death' … again

The good news is that the ports of Portimão and Faro and the Algarve rail network are all earmarked to receive millions of euros to bring them up to scratch. The bad news is that the EN125 road renovation work – in many places halted haphazardly – seems to have been completely overlooked.
As the Resident reported last week, the Portuguese government asked a working group for high-value infrastructures to pinpoint key areas for investment across the country, and the group duly presented what it considered to be the 30 essential major works to boost economic growth.
But, inexplicably, it failed to signal any need for investment on the Algarve’s EN125 highway, infamously known as the ‘road of death’ due to its accident prone status.
The only alternative is the tolled A22 Via do Infante, which many boycott on principle because the money used to build it came from community funds designed specifically to boost regional development.
Talking to Sulinformação online news, Jorge Botelho, president of the Algarve’s Association of Municipalities (AMAL), said “the lack of renovation work on the EN125 road is shameful to the Algarve people and to the country”.
Understandably, he called the main road an “essential investment” as it is “the region’s backbone”.
Botelho further maintained that the working group failed the Algarve’s sea-based strategy, despite its recommendations for port investments.
“The fishing ports of Olhão and Portimão also need urgent investment,” he said, “not to mention the promised Tavira fishing port which never seems to show any progress.”
At the time of the interview, Botelho had still not received any official information from the government and so could not give any further insight into the news coming out of Lisbon.
As we reported last week, the 30 projects considered high-priority by the group represent investments to the tune of approximately €5 billion – but only 2.1% of these are to take place in the Algarve.
The working group, set up in August 2013, is led by José Eduardo de Carvalho, president of the Portuguese Industrial Association.
It was established as a result of a proposal presented by Sérgio Silva Monteiro, Secretary of State for Infrastructures, Transport and Communications.
According to the group, 61% of the total investment will be secured by community funds (around €3.1 billion), while the rest of the money would have to come from the government (around €1.4 billion) and private investors (€543 million).