Minister Pedro Nuno Santos
No joy for the Algarve... Pedro Nuno Santos announces 4.9% tolls increase across all country's motorways.Image: António Cotrim/ LUSA

Motorway tolls to increase by 4.9% from January

“Guarantees” that Algarve motorway tolls would be reducing simply evaporate

Following the challenge set by motorway concession company Brisa last summer, the government has come to a ‘sharing of responsibilities’ solution over what could otherwise have been a “significant tolls increase for 2023”, resulting in tolls rising just 4.9% from January. 

The Council of Ministers has said it believes this is a ‘balanced’ solution – giving concession companies something by way of offsetting inflation, but not the 10.44% they were asking. 

But of course it isn’t if one considers that in October Minister for Territorial Cohesion, Ana Abrunhosa, “guaranteed” a reduction in tolls prices for motorways in the interior and the Algarve (A22), albeit she refused to be drawn on an amount. 

It now transpires, Ms Abrunhosa talked much too soon.

Minister for Infrastructures Pedro Nuno Santos said today that the 4.9% increase is to be “transversal for all tolls” in the country, without referring once to Ms Abrunhosa’s precipitous guarantees.

He did however stress that this “sharing of responsibilities” is costing the government €140 million.

The government frequently announces how much a measure is ‘costing the State’, but it almost never refers to the fact that this year, thanks to inflation, it has pocketed more than €2 billion more than expected in tax revenue.

natasha.donn@portugalresident.com