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Construction firms call for all autovías to have tolls on them

The free-to-use 'autovías' cover over 14,000km in Spain.
The free-to-use 'autovías' cover over 14,000km in Spain. / SALVADOR SALAS
  • Seopan has calculated that to meet UN climate change objectives, the government needs to find 103bn euros for infrastructure

Construction firms have said that Spain will have to spend 103 billion euros on its infrastructure in the coming years to meet UN climate-change objectives. This is equivalent to 8.3 per cent of the country's GDP and would mean an increase of 40 per cent in government spending, they claim, adding that this amount is unachievable.

To pay for the new infrastructure needs they are proposing that tariffs are introduced on all roads designated autovías (non-toll motorways). They say that this would guarantee, "the participation of direct users in the sustainable economy".

Julián Núñez, president of constructors' body Seopan, said the rate should be the same as the European average for tolls of nine to 19 cents per kilometre for light and heavy vehicles.

The government has announced plans for a new, overarching Mobility law for the transport sector, which will build in sustainability policies. Constructors want the toll idea included on 14,130 kilometres of the network. They say that Spain is below the European average for the amount of roads users pay for and the move could bring in 4.7 billion euros extra a year.