Within a few weeks we could see a modification to how we use roads in Spain as it appears that the Government is bringing forwards pay-to-use autovias.
So, it is now confirmed that freeway and freeway users will have to pay for the priviledge, which brings Spain into line with other European countries. However, with the price of fuel already making road use expensive, this is going to go down like a lead balloon.
It should be pointed out, however, that those that live on the East coast between Cataluña and Valencia have long had to pay to use them whilst down in Andalucía we have been somewhat spoilt in that department.
The problem is that it is going to push drivers back onto secondary roads where 78% of fatal, road accidents already occur.
The Government has justified this decision by saying it doesn’t make sense for everybody, through taxes, to maintain roads, when not everybody uses them; i.e., has private transport. They consider that financing social policies is a more important area for taxpayers’ money to be spent.
It also appears that once Spain charges for the use of the 12,000 kilometres of dual carriageway/highwayit will be entitled to 70,000 million from the EU.
This system will come into being next year after the summer, starting with freeways before later including autovías the following year, in 2024. Eventually, even the 14,000 kilometres of national, single-lane, roads (such as the N-340 & N-323) will come under this scheme by the end of 2025, although that seems ambitious, to say the least.
Another factor that is included into the pricing is ‘who pollutes, pays‘ (he who pollutes, pays more) meaning that if you’ve got an old banger, it will work out more expensive for you.
As for how much will it be, it is thought that it will cost between three and nine, euro cents per kilometres for family cars. However, the Central Government is also studying the systems used in Switzerland and Austria, where you pay around 80 euros per year in one single payment.