Cartagena toll road could be closed down

The Government has confirmed that it is prepared to close several toll roads if the operating companies eventually fold, including our local Vera-Cartagena road.

The operating companies are all underwritten by the State, so if they fail ownership of these toll roads would go back to Madrid. These roads are all currently in bankruptcy proceedings, and their future is uncertain.

The Vera-Cartagena road is almost certain to be liquidated by the Courts as it has failed to present a viable plan to keep it open, according to expansion.

However, the Ministry of Development says that it is preparing a plan to study whether it is more cost effective to keep these bankrupt toll roads open via a new State owned company, or whether just to liquidate.

An eventual bailout of the toll roads is likely to cost at least four billion euros plus operating costs. Letting the operating companies fail would still cost around 3,5 billion euros (the State has underwritten a lot of the original cost of building the companies) but at least they wouldn’t have to keep pumping more cash into the failed roads to keep them open, nor pay expropriation costs and compensation.

10 toll roads have been earmarked for closure by the Ministry if the plan goes ahead, as in all cases there are state owned free roads nearby which serve the same purpose (which is sort of why the toll roads are failing).

They are:

  • Vera-Cartagena
  • the four radial motorways of Madrid
  • Madrid-Toledo
  • Ocaña-La Roda
  • Alicante bypass
  • Alicante-Cartagena
  • Madrid – Barajas airport

Expropriating the roads and running them as part of the state network would cost about 2,3 billion euros on top of the accumulated debt, so that’s out.

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One Reply to “Cartagena toll road could be closed down”

  1. If that huge sum covers all the roads listed then perhaps it’s not so daunting. With maybe some minor duplicated highways the last thing the Government should do is close any of them, especially as we now know how many casualties result from urban congestion. In fact, as a resident of Altea, the continued failure to make this part of the AP 7 free, like almost all the other autovias in Spain, could be regarded as manslaughter by effectively forcing traffic into the towns and villages on to the N332. IMHO it’s only being retained to fleece the many foreign tourists and residents in this area to subsidise expenditure elsewhere, despite the fact that, overall, this is one of the most impoverished parts of the country.

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