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Less vehicles in Spain travel toll roads

Source: Xinhua - Thu 17th Apr 2014
Less vehicles in Spain travel toll roads

The number of vehicles using toll roads in Spain fell to its lowest level since 1996, according to figures published by the Spanish Ministry of Public Works on Wednesday.

An average of just 13,097 vehicles per day used toll roads in Spain during Q1 of 2014, despite the fact that February saw a slight increase of 2.17% in comparison with the same month in 2013 and by 4.5% in comparison with January this year, while the figures for March were in turn 4.8% higher than in February.

The average of 13,097 users per day on Spanish toll roads represents a 35.2% fall from the maximum 0f 20,230 vehicles per day which was recorded in 2007, before the start of the economic crisis.

One positive sign is that there has also been an increase in the number of large vehicles (trucks and busses) using the toll roads. The first quarter saw a daily average of 2,230 vehicles of this type, 8.14% higher than a year ago, perhaps showing that companies are now willing to pay in order to move their goods around more quickly.

Spain currently has 2,559.5 km of toll roads, which is 50% more than in 1990, but these have struggled economically in the crisis with nine going bankrupt with total debts of over 4.5 Bln.

The debts recently prompted the Spanish government to propose reducing the debts by 50% and creating a fund which would issue 30 year bonds to guarantee their long term viability.

These bankrupt roads are the ones which have suffered most in Q1 of 2014 with a 9.3% drop in users with 6 toll roads around the capital city of Madrid experiencing falls of between 27 and 15% in vehicle numbers.

Further Reading :

* Spain's roads in worst condition since 1985

* Spain proposes 23 bln rescue of failed motorways

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