The Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, Raquel Sánchez, has assured that the end of the tolls on the AP-7 and AP-2 will mean savings for users of more than 750 million euros.
This was indicated in a press conference held this Tuesday next to the AP-7 toll in La Roca del Vallès, which was also attended by the Government delegate in Catalonia, Teresa Cunillera; the general secretary of infrastructures, Sergio Vázquez, and the general director of highways, Javier Herrero.
According to Sánchez, the liberation of the state-owned highways (AP-7 and AP-2) will mean leaving 477 kilometers without tolls in Catalonia and Aragon and a saving for drivers of 752 million euros a year in Catalonia and 90 million in Aragon.
The estimate of Raquel Sánchez's portfolio on the annual savings for users that the release of these tolls will entail, both for the section of the AP-7 Tarragona-La Jonquera motorway and the AP-2 Zaragoza-El Vendrell, it will reach 752 million euros per year.
In this way, starting at 00:00 tomorrow, Wednesday, September 1, 2021, the Government will release a total of 477 kilometers of toll road. Specifically, 262 kilometers of the AP-7 and 215 kilometers of the AP-2 will become free, after concessions of between 47 and 55 years which were reached after successive extensions of up to 26 years.
In the case of Catalonia, the releases mean the total elimination of tolls from the State Highway Network in Catalonia, taking into account that in 2018 it was the community with the highest percentage of kilometers paid, with 52%.
While in Aragon, the release of the 102 kilometers of AP-2 represents a saving of 90 million euros per year, the number of kilometers of toll roads is reduced from 19% to 6% with respect to the total of highways capacity in this Autonomous Community where, starting tomorrow, it will be 76% cheaper for the user.
Sánchez recalled that the liberalization of the highways was one of the Government's promise at the beginning of the legislature and recalled that the Government is working to implement the new user charging system. A system that "in no case will be assimilable or have anything to do with the idea of tolls as it is known," the minister assured.
"It will be a public system, just and territorially homogeneous, that does not cause grievances" between territories, as it has admitted that it had happened so far with the Catalan highways.
In any case, it has ensured that it will be a pay-per-use system in which it will be the polluter who finances the maintenance of the highways, which will be in charge of the State but that the Government does not want to charge the General State Budgets.
The La Roca del Vallès toll will be one of those that will raise barriers at midnight this Wednesday, once the concession of the AP-7, AP-2, C-32 north and C-33 motorways has ended.
As of September 1, there will be 120 kilometers with explicit tolls in Catalonia, all of them on roads that are owned by the Generalitat and whose concessions end between 2036 and 2039: the Cadí Tunnel (Lleida), the Sant Cugat-Manresa section ( Barcelona) of the C-16, the Castelldefels (Barcelona) -El Vendrell (Tarragona) section of the C-32 and the Vallvidrera Tunnels.
In addition, six other roads have shadow tolls -the Government pays a fixed amount for each vehicle that passes-: the C-16 between Manresa and Berga (Barcelona), the C-14 between Reus and Alcover (Tarragona), the C-35 between Maçanet and Platja d'Aro (Giona), the C-17 between Vic (Barcelona) and Ripoll (Girona), the Eix Transversal between Lleida and Girona and the Eix Diagonal between Manresa and Vilanova i la Geltrú (Barcelona) .