23 Apr, 2012 @ 15:49
1 min read

A hole load of problems for Spain’s roads

SPAIN’S roads are as bad now as 25 years ago.

According to the latest technical study from the Spanish Highways Association, AEC, Spanish roads are in need of an urgent investment.

Raising the alarm over the high risks posed to road safety, the association insists the condition of the roads is as bad now as it was 25 years ago, with a staggering 320,000 traffic signs that need replacing and 50,000 km of road markings that need repainting.

Moreover AEC argues that every euro that is not being spent on maintenance now will cost 25 euros in five years’ time.

Association president Manuel Munoz presented the report demanding answers on why spending on high speed rail is being prioritised and road maintenance is not.

He called for an urgent investment of 5.5 billion euros to prevent further deterioration of Spanish roads.

He added that although driver error is responsible for many accidents, the current condition of Spanish roads is making the problem far worse.

Eloise Horsfield

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  1. The illogic of Spain is unparalled. The roads are in far greater use, and yet they are allowed to deteriorate whilst they continue to build airports with no planes, prisons with no prisoners, technology parks with no technology, marinas with no boats, hotels and golf courses that noone uses or which are illegal and cost millions to demolish.

    The railway system, whilst impressive, is too expensive for the public to use and there is nobody commuting anywhere since there are no jobs to commute to! What an attrociously run country.

    Spain has never learned to properly maintain its countries infrastructure. It just builds and then forgets, and this ends up costing the country twice as much, or more, than if they had just performed the necessary maintenance in the first place. Amazing incompetance, and yet this is what we have come to expect from Spain now – it’s now just ‘normal’.

  2. @Fred hear hear….of course it’s no wonder they have so many pot holes as they don’t have a pot to P in. The attitude in Spain seems to have been, if you build it they will come, unfortunately they didn’t and those that did in the past are going.

  3. Spain has also squandered so many billions of EU grants on useless projects that you’d think they’d have a few quid left to carry out these essential repairs. The fiscal mismanagement of Spain is truly on a par with many banana republics. If you ask your local town hall, as I have, they just say ‘we have no dinero’. I’m not sure what the purpose of the taxpayer is in Spain. No wonder so many local people pay no taxes; they never see any benefit. Local villages are literally dropping to bits. They are uncleaned, unkempt and underinvested – great PR to attract foreign investment.

  4. On a recent trip to the UK I was astonished how easy it was to drive on the “wrong” side of the road. Motorway junctions that didn’t feel suicidal, stop lines that made sense, traffic lights you could see, road directions visible before you passed the junction and just everything so uniform everywhere.

  5. Although I spend only five weeks a year in Spain, almost entirely in Cádiz I can honestly say that the roads on both the Costa de la Luz and in the north east of the province are better maintained than much of what we put up with in the UK. When you consider how much the British motorist pays into the Government’s coffers our roads should be lined in gold rather than the odd bits and bobs of white paint which have not worn away. Pot holes, you could loose an entire wheel in some of them. Unleaded petrol in the Glasgow area is costing anywhere between £1.389 and £1.469 per litre and diesel is dearer, with a huge proportion of that being tax. A number of years ago the local authority for where I live invested a rather large sum of money in an ‘all singing all dancing’ road painting equippage which has hardly seen the light of day. And as for public transport, I live in a village nine miles north of Glasgow city centre, a cheap day return (for travel outwith peak times) into the city on the bus costs £4.50. Last year, when my sons and I went on a day trip from Cádiz to Sevilla I marvelled at both the low cost of the journey and the quality of the service. A similar experience was had when I travelled from Malgrat de Mar into Barcelona during April 2011.

  6. The UK has nearly 3 times the population density of Spain, which is often said to be the second most mountainous country in Europe. Why would you expect to see pristine roads everywhere?

  7. @ Miguel

    I don’t think people expect to see pristine roads everywhere but they certainly expect them in populated areas, admittedly some areas are better than others. Also signage in some areas would help like “this road is unsuitable for cars”. Given that the de facto mode of transport for many Spaniards nowadays is a BMW or a Mercedes and not a Burro I would hope they would like better roads in some areas. I remember driving to see a house one day in quite a large village and the road was appalling, when I got there I asked if there was another road out only to be told no you have to go back the way you came, given this road was the villages only link with the outside world you would expect to see that type of road maintained in much better order.

  8. Right Miguel, just wondering why they have to reduce the speed-limit to 60kmh on a brand new motorway that runs by my village ?

    Bad engineering – skimming construction monies or is it the mountains ?

    I have a notion that, that motorway is not the only one out there and all of these badly build roads are or will be in dire need of maintenance – not to be pristine but to maintain a minimum of road safety…..

    The s*** hasn’t even hit the fan yet … if the crisis in the north isn’t over soon and the EU fools will start sending dinerito again things don’t look good for the future.

  9. “Why would you expect to see pristine roads everywhere?”

    It’s not everywhere we want the roads to be in good condition Miguel; the areas where we the taxpayers live would be a good start. Pristine is not a requirement; just adequately ‘maintained’ would be nice.

  10. The roads in Spain were not built for the people, they were build for the benefit of the construction companies and the politicians. That money is now gone so expect a slow deterioration over the next few years. In general, the condition of the roads in Spain is quite good, it’s the erratic, chaotic mentality that spoils the experience. I blame it on the locals for drinking too much strong coffee, or it could be the tradition of having a beer at 10 in the morning.

  11. Fred,
    having done a 4000K plus road trip to France right across Spain I can say that their R/N roads were in great condition, I doubt that they have deteriorated that much in 4 years. What I do know is that apart from the R/Ns and motorways there are virtually no minor road systems in Spain.

    As for the rail network – fine if you use high speed trains but the others – last train from Granada to Almeria leaves at 2100 – useless if you want to have a night out, same goes for the bus.

    I have to agree with Lindsay, roads in the UK have been on a par with Belgium for some time.

    Fred is right – billions upon billions wasted on ego trips, not their billions upon billions but ours – more fool us for not dictating where all this money was spent.

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