WITH less than three months to go before tolls are officially lifted on the AP-7 questions remanin unanswered.
Will they actually become free to use? If not, how much will they cost? Who will pay, and how will it be collected? Who will maintain the infrastructure and what will any revenue be used for?
These are unanswered questions that have been swept under the carpet by the national government until after the upcoming general election.
The government has been sending ambiguous messages for months while experts, business organisations and affected sectors warn about the consequences of a proposal for free of charge that many, except transport companies, consider a wrong move.
Several city councils and the Chamber of Contractors warned in recent months of the loss of up to €10 million in revenue from the IBI currently paid by the AP7 as it passes through the corresponding municipalities.
Experts say that if the State takes over collection of fees, no one can guarantee that the proceeds are allocated to the maintenance of the roads.
José Manuel Vasallo from the University of Madrid said: “Auditors in Spain and the European Union have reiterated that the management of public companies leaves much to be desired in terms of efficiency in decision making and the extra costs of the works.”
He added: “In the case of Spain because there has been a dual network of toll motorways and free highways that has been developed without a predefined criterion, which has led to some regions of our country being disadvantaged compared to others.”
This is the case of the Valencian Community, which needs answers sooner rather than later over the future of its road network.
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