Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Government plans to re-introduce tolls on AP7 motorway in 2024

This promises to be one of the most controversial issues of the last political year.

The government has launched its plan to implement toll payment on all state motorways from 2024, including the AP-7, the road that connects the Marina Alta with the rest of the Mediterranean coast and which became toll free in January 2020 after almost fifty years.

The government had been threatening this measure for some time. But now the matter is very serious: it has already commissioned consultancy work to find out exactly what type of system or tariff it is going to apply, according to the newspaper El Periódico.

Last year, up to 18 towns in the Marina Alta region and a dozen parties of different political persuasions (including all the major parties) demanded that there should be no more tolls and that the now defunct Tren de la Costa (Coastal Train) should be promoted instead.

A nationwide campaign on change.org has collected more than 287,000 signatures against this tax. Now it has been reactivated under the eloquent title “After the summer the storm returns”.

The minister’s plans for consensus seem to be aimed above all at reaching an agreement with the most affected economic sector, the transport sector, but for the moment they do not include any exceptions in territories, or specific motorways such as the AP-7.

One of the first elements to be analysed in these reports, will be whether to adopt a system whereby a fixed amount is paid each year to be able to use the roads, or re-introduce tolls, something which is already well known to users in the Marina Alta and which will depend on the distance travelled at any given time. The scope of the road network to be charged will also be studied, whether it is only motorways or also regional roads.

The government has made a commitment to Brussels to introduce this payment system in exchange for receiving European funds valued at 70 billion euros in subsidies. It defends itself by assuring that these are specific recommendations made to Spain by the EU, in whose majority of countries (Italy, France and Portugal, for example) tolls are applied across the board.

For full story go to La Marina Plaza

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