HEAVY lorries will be barred from 270 kilometres of Valencian Community trunk roads.
The central government’s ministry of Public Works announced that from April all vehicles weighing more than 7.5 tons when loaded must use the AP-7 motorway instead of the N-332 or the N-340 (Castellon).
The N-332, notorious for its accident black spots, is one of the most saturated in Spain owing to tourist and commercial vehicles, with lorries accounting for up to 30 per cent of traffic.
Benissa and Altea are at a further disadvantage as neither has a by-pass and the N-332 crosses both towns.
Lorries must now leave the N-332 for 170 kilometres between Silla (Valencia) and San Juan (Alicante). The Public Works ministry plans to sign an agreement with the AP-7 concessionary company, lowering tariffs for lorries by 50 per cent on compulsory sections and by 35 per cent on others.
Some in the road transport sector oppose the move, arguing that it pays an annual €22 billion in taxes, more than four times the amount that the state invests in roads.
Others claim that tolls will be compensated by lower fuel bills and fewer traffic holdups.