A petition devised by a group of Costa del Sol residents, that appeals for the the AP-7 road toll to be lifted when the alternative A-7 road suffers traffic tailbacks, gathered more than 800 signatures in its first few days.
The petition, which was uploaded to Change.org over the weekend, accompanies an open letter from the residents, addressed to the central government's ministry of Development and Public Works.
The letter states that it is unacceptable for drivers to be forced into paying the AP-7 road toll when there is heavy traffic on the A7 due to accidents or roadworks. Lifting the barriers, it says, would be "a minor expense for the state coffers", and increase road safety.
The petition has gained support from affected drivers in coastal towns along the Costa del Sol from Fuengirola to Marbella.
María Isabel Vázquez is the spokesperson for one of the area's most active residents' associations, in Riviera del Sol. She points out the safety risks that could result from a congested A7, full of drivers who don't want to have to pay the AP-7 road toll.
"It's not just that we can't get to work, and haulage lorries are unable to reach their destination, but more importantly, ambulances aren't able to get to hospital," she said.
The petition has already made some progress as a motion put forward by the Izquierda Unida party on the issue is due to be debated by Marbella council today, Friday. The proposal is to call for the ministry to set up a commission formed by representatives from all the councils involved - Fuengirola, Mijas, Marbella, Estepona, Casares and Manilva - to monitor the situation and discuss the "urgent need" to lift the toll in the case of tailbacks.