BAILED-out toll motorways are now free to use from midnight until 6am, and from 6.01am drivers will benefit from a 30 per cent reduction in fees.
Spain’s previous government began the process of ‘buying back’ motorways run by ailing toll companies, and the new socialist cabinet, which came into power in June, has continued to see the plan through.
The government has committed to ‘buy-backs’ and ‘non-renewals’ when toll company franchises on most of Spain’s pay-per-use motorways expired, with the next stretch ready for de-privatisation being the AP-7 between Silla and San Juan from January 1, 2020.
Free overnight use and cheaper toll fees during the day apply to the AP-7 Alicante ring-road and, a few kilometres further south, between Cartagena and Vera, along with the AP-36 through Castilla-La Mancha, the M-12 between Madrid city and the airport, and four of the outer Madrid link roads or ‘radial’ highways.
These toll roads suffered major losses after they opened between 2000 and 2004, since traffic flow was around 75 per cent on average lower than predicted as drivers sought alternative routes to avoid the cost.