The cost of the tolls that the Government is considering introducing into the highway network from 2024 could be around one cent per kilometer , as reported by Cadena Ser on Thursday.
The controversial measure is included in the reform plan sent by the Executive to Brussels, where it is contemplated “to create a payment for the use of the road network” and argues that it is necessary to “analyze” this possibility in order to achieve “more sustainable mobility”.
The sources consulted for 20 minutes assure that there is no decision taken and that this possible cost is yet to be defined, although they admit that the figure of one cent per kilometer fits better with some preliminary hypotheses than other proposals, such as that of the Business Association Infrastructure Construction and Concessionaires (Seopan) or the Association of Infrastructure Conservation and Exploitation Companies (Acex), which have suggested a cost for the user of between three and five cents per kilometer.
If the final cost were one cent per kilometer, a Madrid-Valencia trip would cost around 3.60 euros; a Madrid-Seville, about 5.30 euros; and a Madrid-Barcelona would cost up to 6.20 euros. The amount would be used to maintain the road network.
The Government admits in the reform plan that this measure could have the “opposition” of “the economic agents affected” and underlines the “need to have sufficient parliamentary support”, while postponing to the fourth quarter of 2023 the ” review “of the possible imposition of tolls.
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Government sources insist that there is no definitive proposal on tolls on motorways, a measure already applied by 23 of the 27 EU countries –15 of them charge for the use of 100% of their motorway network–, and emphasize that it is about “opening a debate”.
In addition, they add that it is not a measure to be adopted with the “current situation” and that, when the time comes, a “consensus” will be sought with the opposition in Congress and with transporters , who would be the professionals most affected by measure.
Last week, the Minister of Transport, José Luis Ábalos, asked for “tranquility” and recalled that his department has only stressed that “the maintenance of the road network must be financed , ” an expense that is not covered with the amount that each year they record the general budgets for this item.
Ábalos added that in recent months tolls have been eliminated on the AP-7 between Alicante and Tarragona, the AP-4 between Seville and Cádiz and the AP-! in Burgos, which increases the total number of kilometers whose maintenance is assumed by the State. This year, it is planned to abolish, for example, the toll on the Zaragoza-Barcelona section.
The Director General of Traffic, Pere Navarro, was in favor of tolls this Wednesday, arguing that “whoever uses it, pays for it.” In an appearance in the Senate, Navarro asked “to put the bell to the cat” because the conservation of the highways cannot be paid with charge to the budgets.