Algarve motorway toll charges to fall 30% – but only for heavy goods vehicles
Campaign groups long have argued that tolls imposed on drivers using Portugal's formerly free SCUT roads, including the Algarve’s Via do Infante A22 motorway, should greatly be reduced or, better still, cancelled.
The government has made small downward adjustments in the past but now has lopped a sizeable 30% off the fees paid to use these roads – but only for Heavy Goods Vehicles.
The roads where reductions will apply, run through the interior of the country and across the Algarve, namely, the A22 ‘Via do Infante,’ A23, A24, A25 and the A4.
The welcome measure soon will be approved by the Council of Ministers, which also plans to announce additional measures to support the interior of the country where depopulation and poor infrastructure hamper economic development.
According to the Deputy Minister, Pedro Siza Vieira, the objective of these measures is, “to contribute to the competitiveness of economic activity” in these regions but already suspicions have been raised that the headline 30% may end up nearer 15% by the time the measures are introduced.
Some business owners already have expressed disappointment that smaller freight vehicles and private cars will be excluded from the discounted toll rate.
The president of the Beira Baixa Business Association, José Gameiro, said the Government is preparing to announce a measure, “that only benefits, and still only a little, the transport companies.”
In addition to reducing tolls, the Prime Minister António Costa already has announced a reduction of corporation tax for companies in the interior of the country.
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