From April 2011, many drivers in the Algarve won’t be taking the A22 because “it’ll be quicker”.
Instead the majority will be taking the EN125 because they simply won’t be able to cope with the extra expense of paying tolls.
In a region that continually registers the highest unemployment rates in the country and where work may become a reality for some people during the summer season, I think that the Algarve is a clear exception to the national rule.
But the government still fails to recognise this and is sticking to its decision to implement tolls on the A22 to please those who simply won’t put up with ‘exceptions’ to the rule – it’s all or nothing, they say.
The Algarve’s fragile and inconsistent economy should be enough to make our government reconsider but it doesn’t help that our ministers only seem to visit us in the summer when the region is buzzing with tourists and everyone generally seems happy.
But I am sure many business owners here are already preparing for a winter of despair.
Although the demographics of the region have changed drastically in the last 10 years and many immigrants made the Algarve their home, the economic reality here is too unstable to offer what many had hoped. I think we already have enough on our shoulders to deal with and don’t need another crisis.
Promises to redevelop the EN125 were just promises, but would a ‘new’ EN125 really make such a significant difference? We would still have to cope with our inconsistent, seasonal reality.
I would like to invite all our government dignitaries, who no doubt will be holidaying here next summer, to join the rest of us on the EN125 even though I know they will be so tempted to take the A22, because they can!
The Algarve Resident is saying NO to tolls. We are preparing a campaign to oppose the introduction of tolls on the A22 and would like to count on your support.
Visit the Algarve Resident stand at this year’s BLiP exhibition on October 16 and 17 and find out how you can join our campaign.
Inês Lopes, Editor
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