Travelling around Spain will become significantly cheaper from the 1st September as nearly 500km of previous toll motorways become free for motorists – for now.
The new system is part of the EU approved Recovery Plan that will see drivers paying to use the network of autopistas (toll motorways) and autovías (toll-free motorways) as well as national and regional roads, under the EU ” users pay” principle and move away from general taxation to finance the road transport system.
Under the plan, drivers would be charged on the first 12,000 kilometres of all motorways and then incremental increases after that.
Until then however the plan requires going in the opposite direction, in order to have a uniform system that includes national and regional road system integration.
The first tranche of newly toll free motorways include sections of the AP-7, AP-2 and C-32 & 33 as their commercial concessions have now expired with AP-4 and AP-1 due next year.
Abertis, the company that managed the now toll-free roads announced that it will shed 348 jobs as a result of the loss.
The newly toll free motorways are:
- The AP-2 route between Zaragoza and El Vendrell in Tarragona
- The AP-7 route between the French border and Tarragona
- The C-32 section between Barcelona and Lloret de Mar
- The C-33 route between Barcelona and Montmeló
The government says that Spain has the most extensive high-capacity road network in Europe, and that the maintenance costs can no longer be met by the national budget.
In addition,drivers in Spain pay just 76 percent on tolls than the average driver in the European Union.