New motorway discounts on way – but with provisos

Seven national motorways – the Algarve’s A22 Via do Infante included – are offering discounts of ‘up to 40%’ from July “if they are used more than eight times a month”.

The measure, say reports, will cost the State more than 100 million euros.

It will apply to the A4 (Porto-Vila Real), the A24 (Viseu-Chaves and Viseu-Vila Real), the A28 (Porto-Viana), A23 (Aveiro-Viseu), A23 (Castelo Branco – Covilhã), A13 (Coimbra-Torres Novas) as well as the Algarve’s motorway running almost the length of the south coast.

The discounts, for Class 1 and 2 vehicles, will vary according to journeys. In other words, the first week of travel will be paid for as normal. Between the 7th and 15th day, there will be a discount of 20%, and from the 16th day, a discount of 40%.

What it all boils down to is that whoever uses the motorway for 22 days a month will get an overall discount of around 20%. Drivers using it for 30 days a month, will end up with an average discount of 25%.

HGVs will get similar discounts – with more being lopped off nighttime journeys than those in the day – all part of a package of proposals approved by the Council of Ministers this week ostensibly to help the economies of the interior.

Talking to Rádio Renascença, minister for territorial cohesion Ana Abrunhosa said the overall plan is for further discounts in the coming years.

“For this measure to be sustainable, we have to reduce gradually”, she said. “Our proposal is that in future, according to our budget, we will be able to work on this reduction to guarantee that people have a better quality of life in these territories. We are naturally privileging territories of the interior as this is part of the government’s programme, and written into the State Budget”.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com