Tolls will keep Spanish away

Dear Editor,

My letter to you is to voice my amazement that the A22 toll road has been approved.

Normally, time improves communication but with this measure Portugal has taken a step back over 20 years to before when the international bridge was built.

First of all, I would like to thank the Algarve Resident for keeping us informed about this ludicrous toll on the A22 as without your paper we wouldn’t know when, where or what in terms of the toll road and I am afraid we will never get the answer for why.

Resident in Spain, Ayamonte to be exact, I am baffled that this measure ever got off the drawing board and let me explain the various reasons why it should be abolished.

When I want a weekend break, I often choose the Algarve, just hop on the A22 and drive to places like Alvor, Lagos or Portimão.

Two nights in a hotel and wining and dining in the surrounding restaurants, hassle free but not anymore. My next break will be Aracena or Jerez. You can be sure this will be the trend.

Shopping is another big one. Not really a big shopper myself but my wife likes the big shopping centres in Tavira, Faro, Guia and the latest one in Portimão.

Last Tuesday, December 6, was a bank holiday in Spain and I was in Tavira plaza. The car park was full and easily 75% of the cars were Spanish registration. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens now with the tolls. I already have my orders that next weekend we are going shopping in Seville.

Currently, I am managing various projects where between four and six Portuguese people are employed. These workers are from both Olhão and Faro and if they were to use the toll road everyday they would be €240 out of pocket at the end of the month.

You may say that they can travel along the N125 and they can, but you are looking at longer, more dangerous trips.

The EN125 was one of the most dangerous roads in Europe until the A22 opened and I so hope I am wrong but I can’t help but feel that the toll road will give it back its title.

Abolish the toll!

Michael Halligan, Ayamonte, Spain

Dear Editor, 

For some time I frequently visit your website to keep informed about the A22 misery.

This,  of course, due to the total lack of trustful information from the authorities.

At least from your site I can get some proper information as far as possible of course.

On the following site, I did find some more information in English which I haven’t found before.

www.estradas.pt/portagensestrangeiros The information on this site seems legit and gives more options for visitors.

For me it helped me planning my next trip, arrival at Faro airport and then by rental car to Spain. I hope the information is correct! 

Thank you for all the effort to keep people informed as much as possible, keep up the good work! 

Eric Roos, By email

Editor’s note: Dear Eric, thank you for your email. We have actually mentioned the Estradas de Portugal website in some of our reports on the tolls. I agree with you, it is quite useful!

Dear Editor,

We have gone to the Algarve on holiday for eight out of the last nine years. As we are from Gibraltar, we drive there.

We usually rent villas and our aim is to try different beaches every day, so we tend to use the A22. 

The idea of adding the extra complication of trying to rent an electronic tag from here plus the pre-paid €50 and the daily charges mean we won’t be returning for a while and will stick to Costa Del Sol, Costa Tropical or Costa Calida villas.

 I hope you don’t suffer too many ill effects of the policy and hope we can return there again soon. 

Andrew Mifsud, Gibraltar