The commission of user of the Via do Infante (A22 motorway) have announced that they will be holding another slow protest on the En125 in the Algarve in protest against the continuation of tolls on the A22 motorway in the region.
In a statement made to press the commission announced that they have decided to hold a slow protest along the En125 sometime in April, although the actual date of the protest has yet to be announced.
Following a meeting of the group held in Armação de Pêra the commission have said that a date for the protest would “announced in due time”.
The tolls of the A22 represent a huge problem for the commission who claim that the Algarve is currently living through “one of the darkest periods in its history” because “unemployment is at its highest with around 70,000 people out of work in real terms”.
The hugely unpopular tolls on the A22 were brought in over a year ago onto the motorway that links the east to the west of the Algarve and the effects of the tolls have been far reaching according to the commission.
The commission believes that the negative consequences of the tolls on the A22 have included the closure of hundreds of businesses and the paralyzing of the economy as well as of course the unending traffic jams that can now be found daily on the EN125.
Since the tolls have been introduced on to the A22 motorway a huge amount of people have opted to instead use the EN125 as a way to travel across the Algarve. The EN125 however is not in the best possible state with many pot holes, lots of roundabouts and traffic lights. It is also known to be a very dangerous road and since the start of the year there have already been 13 deaths on the road.
Works need to be done on the EN125 to make it a real alternative to the A22 but plans to improve the road have seen constant delays and now the budget for the road has been cut leading to some projects for bypasses and improvements being scrapped altogether by the Portuguese government.
There had been exceptions for local residents using the A22 in the past but these have now stopped as the Algarve was judged to be a region where people can afford to pay the tolls despite the incredible level of unemployment in the Algarve.
Traffic on the A22 has dropped by 50 percent since the tolls were introduced and the commission is trying to see the tolls reversed in this road to help the region as a whole to try to recover for the economic difficulties that it is currently facing.