EN125 road works: Câmaras say enough is enough!
Annoyed and frustrated with the lack of explanation behind abandoned EN125 road works, the Algarve Câmaras Association (AMAL) has requested an urgent meeting with the Minister of Economy and Employment, to review the over-used and under-maintained road’s redevelopment.
With summer underway and the Via do Infante A22 road tolls pushing drivers onto the already congested EN125, the situation has become unbearable, say local entities.
The EN125 has long been associated with frequent accidents, poor road surfaces and dangerous junctions. AMAL President, Macário Correia, believes that “the image of the Algarve as a tourist destination is being severely damaged, which will have consequences on the region’s economic activity.” Correia’s words should be heeded when tourists are confronted with roads looking like those in a war zone.
Road works on the EN125 were suspended in March due to ‘lack of financial support’ to see the projects through to completion. In addition the tolls on the A22 have discouraged residents and tourists alike from using the trans-Algarve highway. These two factors have turned the “old EN125 road into an everyday burden,” said Correia.
“We are already in the summer, traffic movement is slower and the risk of accidents has increased substantially due to incomplete road crossings, intersections and roundabouts all along the road,” he added. Bring into the equation the increase in traffic on the EN125 by 20% in the first half of 2012 and the frustration is evident.
According to data from the national road authority, Estradas de Portugal, the road section between Odiáxere (Lagos) and Estombar (Lagoa) registered, on average, an additional 3,600 vehicles a day when compared to last year. In the Monte Lagoa area of Tavira an additional 1,700 vehicles a day were recorded by road traffic counting sensors.
It is now estimated that travelling from one end of the EN125 to the other can easily take more than three hours – something drivers experienced for many years prior to the opening of the A22.
AMAL has now confirmed that it is putting additional pressure on the government in order to resolve the issue and gain assurance that unfinished works are dealt with speedily. Despite previous attempts to meet with government officials, four months down the line no response has been received.
“We want to know what steps are going to be taken to resolve this situation,” said AMAL’s President.
“The time is passing and there have been no signs of progression on the road works. Absolute silence regarding the matter reigns everywhere, as if the case is not important and people do not deserve an explanation - Well, they do,” he concluded.
Traffic on the A22 decreased by 57% in the first three months of the year – on average 14,000 vehicles a day used the trans-Algarve highway in 2011 while the current daily average in 2012 is 6,000 vehicles.