President promulgates Government diploma that reduces tolls in the Algarve and interior

Class 1 vehicles will benefit from a 30% reduction in tolls

The President of the Republic Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa promulgated the Government diploma that reduces toll rates on several motorways in the Algarve and the interior of the country from next year.

“The President of the Republic promulgated the Government diploma that creates a regime to reduce the value of toll fees charged to users on sections and sub-sections of motorways in the interior territories of the country or where there are no alternative routes that allow for use in quality and safety”, reads a statement published today on the official website of the Presidency of the Republic.

The Government announced, on September 28th, that Class 1 vehicles will benefit from a 30% reduction in tolls on some ex-SCUT (Tolls at no cost to the user), including the A22, A23 and A24, from January.

“We will have a 30% reduction compared to current prices on roads such as the A22 (Via do Infante/Algarve), the A23 (Beira Interior), the A24 (Interior Norte), the A25 (Beiras Litoral and Alta), the A4 (Marão Tunnel), the A13 and A13-1 (Pinhal Interior)”, said the Minister of Territorial Cohesion Ana Abrunhosa.

The official also highlighted that the Government decided to include the A4, A13 and A13-1, which were never SCUT, in these discounts, to put them “on an equal footing with the other routes” because, “when the discount of 50 %, these routes did not yet exist, so until now they did not receive the same treatment as the others”.

Considering the base values ​​from 2011, when ex-SCUTs began to be tolled, the minister indicated that these discounts represent a reduction from 50% to 65%.

The decision aims to restore “territorial justice” in the interior, explained the government official, at a press conference.

A source from the Ministry of Territorial Cohesion then told Lusa that the 30% discount applies to light passenger vehicles (class 1) and that vehicles in other classes, such as heavy passenger and goods vehicles, will benefit from a discount. 13% during the day, maintaining the current values ​​at night.

The same source justified that the greater discount applies to class 1 as it is the one that most affects families.

This measure represents an annual expenditure for the State of around 72 million euros, added Infrastructure Minister João Galamba.

The Minister of Territorial Cohesion also stressed that these discounts are an “exceptional measure”, which the Government does not intend to extend to other means, reaffirming that it is a matter of “territorial justice” because, in those territories “people often they have no alternative routes or public transport”.

The No Cost for the User (SCUT) routes were created at the end of the 1990s, during the Government of António Guterres.

The creation of these roads was controversial, as the burden of using them fell on the State, but, in 2010, the then Prime Minister José Sócrates approved the introduction of tolls in the SCUT concessions.