The busy A7 section by Marbella. / josele

The A-7 road, which runs the length of the Costa del Sol, is voted the third worst in Spain by drivers

In the survey - carried out by the Organisation of Consumers and Users - respondents were most concerned by road works, traffic density and the absence of rest areas

JUAN SOTO

The A-7 road that runs along the length of the Costa del Sol is the third worst rated in Spain by users. The section of the road linking Algeciras with Almeria and which crosses the province of Malaga has achieved a score of six, from a maximum of 10.

In the Organisation of Consumers and Users (OCU) survey only the AP8, between Irun and Bilbao, which scored 5.7, and the AP1, between Vitoria and Irun, which scored 5.8, obtained worse results. The other major road which passes through the province, the A-45, running between Malaga and Cordoba, achieved a better score of 6.4 points.

The OCU data was collected from more than 1,200 people from all over Spain; the average score for all roads was 6.6. Survey respondents were most concerned by road works, traffic density and the absence of rest areas.

Respondents were asked to rate the condition of the road surface, lane width, signage, crash barriers, exits and junctions, rest areas, road works and traffic flow. In addition, they had to give an overall satisfaction rating. Scores ranged from 5.7 points for the AP8 section connecting Bilbao with Irun, to 7.1 for the AP7 on the La Junquera - Alicante route.

In general terms, one out of every five users was dissatisfied with the state of local and provincial roads. For drivers the ease of sharing roads with other users (pedestrians, cyclists or scooters) was the most important factor in giving a positive score.

Satisfied respondents (24 per cent) outnumber those who are not satisfied (19 per cent), but 57 per cent of those consulted remained neutral. Signage received only 5.6 marks and is an area which the authorities should seek to improve according to the OCU.

At the local level, the overall level of satisfaction is very similar to that of provincial roads.

The OCU said "there is still a lot to be done" to improve the relationship between cars, pedestrians, motorbikes, bicycles and personal mobility vehicles, such as scooters.

"Improving the design of cycle lanes is one of them, but also launching public awareness campaigns and monitoring compliance with the rules. Traffic flow, with the annoying traffic jams, and the state of the road are other areas for improvement," they said.