TRAFFIC has more than doubled on the AP-7 motorway between Alicante and Valencia since tolls were dropped after 40 years on January 1.
Figures from the Public Works Ministry show a 119 per cent increase in traffic volume on this stretch of the road over the last six weeks, going from a daily average of 12,783 cars to 28,055.
For the 374 kilometres running from Alicante to Tarragona the traffic increase over the same period is 71 per cent.
At the same time, traffic circulation on alternative roads to the AP-7 has decreased, especially of heavy vehicles. On the N-332 between Benidorm and Villajoyosa for example, heavy vehicle numbers are down 61 per cent on January 2019.
The Public Works Ministry said the decision to do away with toll charges on the AP-7 between Alicante and Tarragona represents an annual saving of €300 million for drivers in the Valencian Community and €100 million for Catalan motorists.
Public Works Minister Jose Luis Abalos has meanwhile announced an investment of some €21 million a year in the maintenance of the motorway in the Valencian Community.