SPAIN’S government will not introduce a national road toll scheme in 2024 due to the state of the economy.

Spain has been under pressure to fall in line with other EU member states like France, Germany and Portugal where widespread toll road charging is the norm.

Introducing the measure was in return for getting €70 billion of EU Covid-recovery funding with 2024 pencilled in for nationwide charging to begin.

The government says the European Commission ‘fully understands’ the delay due to the economic hit taken by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine resulting in higher inflation.

“It is not a matter that is an urgent priority,” said a government source.

There’s also a political context with tolls being universally unpopular with people casting votes this year in the general election as well as in municipal and regional elections.

The General Directorate of Highways(DGT) has paid €1.4 million to consultancy firm Ineco to look at nine options for a new highways financing scheme.

Their report will look at whether charges should only apply to state highways or be extended to regional roads, or even every road.

They will also review charge levels which will seek not to harm the most financially vulnerable.

Also under scrutiny will be exactly what kind of payment system will be used.

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