TRANSPORT Minister Jose Luis Albalos has hinted at the possibility of introducing tolls on public roads to help combat the losses from COVID-19.
Albalos made the statement during a conference on the impact on mobility during the pandemic.
On the subject of the threat to Spain’s passenger transport companies, Albalos suggested introducing tolls for certain road users to offset the damage.
In his proposal, tolls would be introduced on publicly funded roads for the first time to commercial users that financially benefit from their use, such as transport companies.
Previously, tolls were only present on privately funded road networks, such as Andalucia’s AP-7, with many stretches across the country having tolls scrapped this year.
The suggestion comes as the Confebus Association revealed that the drop in passengers thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic could lead to the closure of over 3,000 coach and bus companies.
Abalos’s announcement will surely rile companies on the receiving end of the tolls, many of which have experienced losses themselves thanks to travel restrictions.
This isn’t the first time that Abalos has targeted state run highways.
Back in July, he confirmed that the Ministry of Transport was looking into the idea of implementing a ‘symbolic’ charge of 10% of the tolls paid on other road networks to go towards reducing the higher tolls in certain areas.