The plan is for every motorway to have toll booths from 2024. / efe

Spanish government plans to charge tolls on every motorway in the country from 2024

The measure is partly to encourage people to use other, more sustainable, forms of transport and is also considered fairer as the burden of maintaining the roads will not fall on all taxpayers

MARÍA ALBERT Madrid

Although many motorways in Spain are toll-free at present the government has plans to change this. In 2021 it announced that it intended to place tolls on all fast roads in the country. The idea is “to contribute to the development of a much more sustainable future, by regulating private vehicles in order to encourage the use of other forms of transport,” it explained.

However, the General Secretary for Infrastructure, Sergio Vázquez, said that there is another reason as well, which is that there is no sense in the maintenance of these roads being financed by all taxpayers in the country and not just the ones who use them.

Meanwhile the Ministry of Transport and Mobility has explained that the toll system will serve to remedy the fact that it is impossible to maintain motorways from the government budget alone when that money could be used for more important measures.

The measure will not come into force until 2024 but the different regional governments in Spain have already received funding – 13.3 billion euros in total – to start preparing for the change.

It has also been said that some drivers will be exempt from paying the tolls when the new system comes into force, but the details have yet to be confirmed.

The measure to introduce more tolls is part of the government's Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan aimed at modernising the economy after Covid-19, with the help of Next Generation EU funds.