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No to Tolls

Dear Editor,

I would like to ask, indeed urge, all your readers who are unhappy about the tolls on the A22 (and I am sure they are numerous) to convey their complaints and protests directly to the government by: a) sending a letter to the Prime Minister telling him their views and b) signing the online petition set up by the Comissão de Utentes da Via do Infante which calls on the government to suspend the tolls.

The government have said that they intend to review the toll situation in June (six months after the tolls were introduced). So NOW – a week or two in advance of that – seems a really appropriate time to let them know how damaging and harmful most of us consider the tolls to be. Up until now the government has ignored all complaints from official bodies in the Algarve.

I now therefore suggest that we start a barrage of protest to them from the general public, the people who are the actual users (now ex-users) of the motorway and are the ones most affected. Let the government get the feedback they need to start making sensible and workable decisions.

The Prime Minister’s postal address is Rua da Imprensa a Estrela, 4, 1200-888  Lisboa or email [email protected]

I recommend sending letters both by post and by email. That’s what I did. It doubles the chance of the PM himself actually learning about them. When I wrote (on April 19) I addressed him as “ Exmo. Sr. Primeiro-Ministro”. I am not sure if that is proper etiquette in Portugal but I think it will do.

The link to the anti-tolls petition is http://www.peticaopublica.com/PeticaoAssinar.aspx?pi=P2011N18627

A bit of a mouthful I’m afraid but, if one is careful to get it right, it works. An alternative is to go to the Algarve Resident’s website (www.algarveresident.com) and click on the blue “No Tolls” field on the right side of the screen. That will connect you to the petition. I hope a large number of your readers will follow my suggested actions (both of them). The more that do the more effective the protest will be.

I also think we should approach as many as we can of the native Algarveans and ask them to join in. They have more clout than we foreigners – they have a vote in national elections!  Every one of them I have spoken to is against the tolls but did not know that the petition existed.

All of them, when given the link, have said they will sign it and pass the link on to others. They might even write to the Prime Minister . Who knows?  So please spread the word.

Norman Walker