Minister says that the abolition of tolls is “further and further away”

Government announced on September 28th that class 1 vehicles will benefit from a 30% reduction in tolls

Photos: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação - File

The abolition of tolls on the old Scut, such as the A22 (Via do Infante), «is increasingly far from being a possibility», said this Tuesday, October 24th, AnAbrunhosa, Minister of Territorial Cohesion.

On the sidelines of the conference “Challenges of mobility in low-density territories”, in Covilhã, the government official stressed that the priority must be to encourage the use of public and electric transport and, despite not promising it, she did not leave aside that the value in the old Scut (routes at no cost to the user) is reduced again.

«I'm not going to say that we won't continue to reduce tolls, but I'm not going to promise either», highlighted Ana Abrunhosa, when asked about the subject.

The Minister of Territorial Cohesion recalled that the reduction in the value of tolls by 30% will be implemented in January and then the Government will evaluate it.

«We will evaluate. Now, we do not have the political, geopolitical or other conditions to continue reducing tolls significantly. This has to be very clear», stressed Ana Abrunhosa.

According to the governor, the reduction announced on September 28th in circulation costs on the A22, the A23, the A24, the A25, the A4, the A13 and the A13-1 it was an exception: «it is justified in these territories».

«It was an exceptional situation, because we truly do not have public transport in quantity and quality, but we must invest so that there is this public transport and encourage families to use this public transport and stop using individual transport», argued Ana Abrunhosa.

The minister drew attention to negative reactions to the measure from entities that considered carbonization to be being encouraged and added that the Government's margin to continue reducing the value of tolls is increasingly reduced.

«I think that today this should not be the priority measure of any Government, reducing tolls. Our political margin to do so is increasingly reduced», he highlighted.

According to Ana Abrunhosa “the European Commission itself questions” Portugal why it is promoting the use of individual vehicles, by reducing tolls”.

The minister emphasized the contextual cost represented by tolls and added that the value was reduced in inland territories to allow people “to reach the hospital, their place of work, the health center, a cultural event at less cost.” .

Regarding a possible increase in the amount to be paid on motorways next year, Ana Abrunhosa said it was “a concern”, but referred the matter to the Minister of Infrastructure, João Galamba.

«It doesn't suit me to speak on behalf of a minister who is currently doing this work and this negotiation, who is the Minister of Infrastructure, but it is a concern that we all have, naturally», he said.

The Government announced on 28 September that class 1 vehicles will benefit from a 30% reduction in tolls on the A22 (Via do Infante/Algarve), A23 (Beira Interior), A24 (Interior Norte), A25 (Beiras Litoral and Alta), A4 (Túnel do Marão), A13 and A13-1 (Pinhal Interior).