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.
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).
- the four radial motorways of Madrid
- Ocaña-La Roda
- Alicante bypass
- 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.