For a long time, on the table of the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda -before Development- is the dossier on how to establish an income system that covers the expenses of the road network, now that many toll roads become free. To close the dossier, the Government will propose to pay for a Annual ‘vignette’ to use highways and expressways, as reported The Spanish.
The team currently led by Minister Raquel Sánchez will be in charge of defending the idea of a payment per vignette to the detriment of a pay-per-use system similar to that implemented in Portugal.
Of course, the intention of the Government is to start with this pricing model in 2023 and, in 2025, move to a more advanced format, of pay per use turning to “who pollutes pays”.
Before the end of the year, the Government plans to make an announcement in which it will explain the details of its strategy to obtain social, business and political support in order to bring this bill to parliament and have it approved.
Among the first support that it could have is that of the Generalitat de Catalunya, which is in favor of the use of an annual vignette for the use of motorways. In fact, wants to implement this system on the C-32, which has ceased to be a toll on August 31.
Annual payment as a trial before pay-per-use
For now, the idea is to implement a vignette system similar to that used by other countries on the continent, such as Austria O Switzerland. The concept of payment is based on a single annual payment for which users have a sticker, a vignette, which is placed on the windshield and with which they can circulate on motorways and expressways. Cameras throughout the country verify that all users carry it and can circulate on the expressway network.
Always according to El Español, it would be for him third quarter of 2023 that needs a vignette would become effective, while by 2025, the Government would implement a more advanced system.
That more advanced system would be a pay-per-use, similar to the one in Portugal. The idea is basically implement electronic tolls. When entering a high-occupancy road, be it a highway or highway, a camera reads the vehicle’s license plate and the system will charge us based on the road, the vehicle and / or the section traveled.
Thus, the vignette system would only be the first step, a kind of generalized rehearsal. Well, for a system with vignettes to work well, it is necessary to install cameras that read both the license plates and the vignette to detect offenders or expired vignettes. In Spain there are already this type of cameras and they are used, among other cases, to fine those who do not wear your belt, lack insurance or do not have a driver’s license.
From a revenue or revenue point of view for the State coffers, a pay-per-use system is preferable since those who use this type of road the most will pay more than if they only pay for a vignette once a year. For example, the Swiss cartoon costs 40 Swiss francs (about 38.50 euros). On the other hand, those who use the highways little and for short trips, would end up paying much more with an annual vignette than by paying per use.
At the moment, the possible prices of the cartoon that the Government is considering are unknown.