Slow Protest Against Algarve Motorway Tolls

"toll protest algarve"A go slow protest took place in the Algarve along the En125 to mark the first anniversary of the introduction of tolls onto the A22, Via Infante motorway.

According to a report by regional newspaper Região Sul around 100 vehicles took part in the go slow drive along the En125 on December 8 as a direct protest against the tolls that are still in place on the A22 motorway.

The controversial tolls were officially introduced on December 8, 2011 by the Portuguese government after months of speculation followed by further months of delays in bringing in the new toll system on the SCUT road.

Head of the group against the tolls, João Vasconcelos, told Portuguese news agency Lusa: “The protest was staged to show that we continue to struggle against the tolls on the A22.  We consider these tolls to be unjust and that they are also contributing to the current poor state of the economy in the Algarve region.”

He added: “Not only have the tolls lead to increased economic problems, they have also led to an increased number of accidents on the EN125, some of which have resulted in fatalities.”

The slow protest of cars travelled between Quatro Estradas and Fonte de Boliquime, one of the busiest stretches of the EN125, with the cars stopping at two symbolic points along the road where there had been accidents involving deaths on the road.

João Vasconcelos said that it was very important to highlight the loss of life of people who had died on the EN125 and for these people to be remembered.

The commission of users against the tolls on the A22 have declared that they will continue to fight against the tolls on the A22 and they added that they had several plans in place to challenge the government and the tolls on the motorway.

No details of what the plans of the group are were revealed but they promised that several different surprise actions would be taking place in the coming months.

The commission also intends to raise awareness among various entities in the Algarve so that all the different people in the Algarve who are effected by the tolls can work together to challenge the government and the tolls on the A22 in the Algarve.

Since the introduction of tolls on the A22 last year the amount of traffic using the motorway has dropped significantly while the number of cars using the free alternative, the EN125 has increased massively.

The amount payable by users driving along the A22 has been reduced by the government but those against the tolls do not consider this to be a step far enough to help people in the Algarve.

The tolls on the A22 are also considered to be having a negative impact on tourism in the Algarve, an industry that is vital for the region, especially during the summer months.