Tolls on Via do Infante are reduced by 50% from 1st July

The Government estimated an impact of 160 million euros annually due to this reduction in tolls

The Government approved this Thursday a 50% reduction in tolls on the former SCUT as of 1 July, namely on the A22/Via do Infante, as defined by the Assembly of the Republic when approving the State Budget for 2021 .

The measure “institutes the new model of 50% reduction in the value of toll fees on each passage in the sections and subsections of the following motorways: A22-Algarve; A23 - IP; A23 – Interior Beira; A24-North Interior; A25 – Beiras Litoral and Alta; A28 – North Coast; Greater Porto (A41, A42) and Costa da Prata concessions», stresses the communiqué from the Council of Ministers.

These changes stem from the State Budget Law for 2021 (LOE), but the Government stresses that it has also safeguarded «benefits that had been acquired through Ordinance 309-B/2020», such as the discounts currently in force, and which «were not covered by the LOE'.

The statement from the Council of Ministers adds that the discounts that will now come into force contribute "to the execution of the XXII Constitutional Government's Program, which expressly enshrines the promotion of territorial cohesion as one of the priorities in its various socio-economic aspects, with a view to development balanced territories, reducing regional asymmetries and strengthening their competitiveness'.

The measure, which was proposed by the PSD, had been approved by the Assembly of the Republic under the State Budget Law for 2021, providing for discounts in the collection of toll fees of 50% for all combustion vehicles and 75% for the electric and non-polluting vehicles, from 1 July.

According to Jornal de Notícias, the approval of the measure caused some controversy, with the Government pointing out its possible unconstitutionality, which was discarded.

Despite the opposition, on May 19, the Minister of Territorial Cohesion pledged, in parliament, to comply with the State Budget Law for 2021 regarding a 50% reduction in tolls in ex-SCUT from 1 July this year.

JN recalls that the minister highlighted that she has always been “an advocate of reducing tolls”, but gradually, “because the impacts are high”.

Ana Abrunhosa then pointed out that the 50% reduction in tolls in the former SCUT also "implies complex contractual issues" with concessions and sub-concessions, with whom it is necessary to "negotiate financial balances", considering that a large part of the concessions ends in 2023.

The government estimated an impact of 160 million euros annually due to this reduction in tolls, adds Jornal de Notícias.

As for the reductions currently in force, at the initiative of the Government, since 11 January this year, they provide for reductions between 25% and 55%, depending on the vehicle class and the day or night period, and had an impact on the infrastructure of Portugal (IP) in excess of 2,6 million euros.