Fresh demand to scrap AP-7 motorway toll price hike on the Costa del Sol during peak summer period

Fresh demand to scrap AP-7 motorway toll price hike on the Costa del Sol during peak summer period

Malaga's provincial authority, the Diputación, will call on central government in Madrid to eliminate the rate increases following the presentation of a motion that was backed by PP and Vox, while political parties PSOE and Con Málaga abstained

Antonio M. Romero


Wednesday, 19 June 2024, 13:59

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Malaga's provincial authority has called on the Spanish government to scrap the summer increase in the price of tolls on the province's two motorways: the AP-46 (north from Malaga city) and the AP-7 along the Costa del Sol.

This Wednesday morning (19 June), the Diputación urged Madrid to eliminate the increase in toll prices that come into effect during the peak holiday season and maintain the regular rate throughout the year. The request has gone ahead with the vote in favour of the motion with absolute majority of the Partido Popular party and the support of the two Vox representatives, while PSOE and Con Málaga abstained.

PSOE deputy José Bernal and the spokesperson for Con Málaga, Juan Márquez, maintained that they agree with the substance of the motion (the request to lower prices) but not with its form since they believe that PP motion seeks "a frontal attack" with central government.

The motion had been presented by Partido Popular spokesperson Cristóbal Ortega, who said the request arises from "the refusal" of the government to scrap the toll from the Costa del Sol motorway while discussions were ongoing for a planned railway line extension along the coast.

Ortega said that from 1 June until the end of September, the special tariff level prices are in force, which means that travelling from Malaga to Marbella on the motorway in a light vehicle costs 8.60 euros (the rest of the year it is 5.25) and driving to Estepona goes from nine to 15 euros. "In summer, the cost can reach more than 576 euros per month for those who use the motorway which is the backbone of the Costa del Sol on a daily basis, and which is becoming more expensive every year," he said. Ortega also criticised the increase in the AP-46 monthly pass from 69 to 79 euros, with the rate for light vehicles costing six euros.

Cristóbal Ortega said it is an "enormous insult" to Malaga that the motorway rates are being raised while there are discounts on similar roads in Galicia and Alicante. "The people of Malaga have to pay the most expensive toll in Spain per kilometre, with an abusive price that condemns workers, students and families of the Costa del Sol to suffer traffic jams on the collapsed A-7 because the government of Sánchez also punishes us without a coastal train," he added.

'Urgent' calls to improve beaches

During today's council meeting, Partido Popular representatives also demand "urgent" action to improve Malaga's receding coastline.

Partido Popular MP Luis Rodríguez presented a motion calling on the government to undertake a real plan to protect and improve the province's beaches. The government was asked to create a contingency fund to meet costs arising from storm damage, so local councils are not the ones to fork out the money.

Meanwhile, the Socialists will push a motion proposing that the current presidents' office of the provincial authority be converted into a body aimed at combating depopulation, and that a demographic challenge master plan be drawn up.

Socialist deputy and Cuevas Bajas mayor Manuel Lara referred to the report of the provincial authority's report, published by SUR, which states there are 45 municipalities at risk of depopulation.

Claims of sectarianism and partisanship

"After 13 years of PP government, the Diputación has ceased to be an institution at the service of the towns, which is supposed to be its true purpose. With the PP, the provincial council no longer has the municipalities with less than 20,000 inhabitants at the centre of its policies and actions, now it is the large municipalities, governed by the PP, and the big events that are the focus of the attention of this institution," Lara said, while pointing out the "sectarianism and partisanship" with which Partido Popular distributes subsidies from the president's office.

For this reason, the Socialists propose the transformation of this body into an office of strategic projects and territorial cohesion aimed at helping municipalities with less than 20,000 inhabitants.

Meanwhile, Con Málaga's MP Juan Márquez defended two motions in defence of public services during the council meeting. He was expected to ask the Junta to "significantly" increase the budgets for mental health in the province.

Vox also presented a motion suggesting turning the La Malagueta bullring into more of a tourist destination by "keeping it alive throughout the year with on-site tourist visits", according to its spokesperson, Antonio Luna. Vox will also defend a motion for the enhancement, conservation and restoration of the necropolis of Trayamar, a Phoenician funerary complex from the 7th century BC, located in Algarrobo.

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