Back in February, the Parliamentary Group of the Communist Party was complaining that the Algarve railway service was patchy at best, with many trains running late or not at all.
In reply, the Government blandly acknowleded that “delayed trains cause great inconvenience to users,” but has done nothing to improve the situation, despite saying at the time that it was exerting “the greatest efforts to improve the quality of the service provided.”
After ten months, the Minister’s ‘greatest efforts’ are zero, the Algarve railway service has not improved one bit and delays have become the norm, according to local MP, Paulo Sá.
According to a survey, initiated by the Communist Party, in a period of two weeks between November 23 and December 6, 2017, “33 regional trains between Faro and Vila Real de Santo António and between Faro and Lagos were late,” a situation “not unrelated to a set of problems on the Algarve Line which the Communist Party has been drawing attention to and which need solving, urgently.”
Even before the completion of the electrification of the Algarve Line which the government says will not be finished until 2021 at the earliest, Communisat Party MPs say that “other interventions can and must be carried out in order to provide users with a better quality of service.”
Paulo Sá questioned the Minister of Planning and Infrastructure, addressing issues such as the cancellation of certain trains, the reasons that led to these cancellations, the late running of services and what measures will be taken to avoid all of this in the future.
With the EN125 western section roadworks lying unfinished and the eastern section not even mentioned in the 2018 State Budget, improvements to the railway service are a long way down the government’s list of things to do, thus pushing time-sensitive commuters onto the road network and increasing the VAT and tax take on petrol and diesel purchased to make journeys to work by road, not rail.
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