ELIMINATING the AP-7 tolls produced a 26 per cent rise in the number of vehicles using it, despite the pandemic.
This figure is significantly higher for heavy lorries, with a 96 per cent increase.
Tolls were lifted on January 1 last year and Ministry of Transport figures quoted in the local Spanish media revealed a daily average of 20,551 vehicles on the AP-7’s Altea section and 35,508 in Villajoyosa.
Overall, the stretch between Alicante and Benidorm sees 25,000 cars a day as well as between Ondara and Valencia.
In all cases these figures were well above those for 2019 when it was necessary to pay to use the AP-7.
In contrast to the past, the motorway is now habitually used for short and medium journeys while the parallel N-332, notorious as one of Spain’s busiest and most dangerous main roads is used for local journeys.
In some cases there is no alternative, however. Anyone wanting to drive from Benidorm to Altea, for instance, is better off taking the N-332 as the AP-7 exit is on the far side of the town.
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