Residents of the Algarve have been given a three-month financial reprieve when using the controversial A22 toll road, with the announcement that the original “ten free trips concession” will now continue until the end of September.

The formerly free A22 toll road stretches the width of the Algarve, and the introduction of electronic tolls in late 2011 has proven hugely contentious in the region and beyond.

The concession of ten monthly free trips for those living close to the motorway was made available when the tolls were launched, but was later declared to be in breach of EU freedom of movement legislation. The Portuguese Ministry of Economy has said that the current monthly concession will be changed at the end of September and a new scheme will be adopted that works in accordance with EU law.

Meanwhile, a new scratch-card based method of toll payment has been launched for hire cars and foreign vehicles. This works by using a text message activation system to link each card with a specific car registration. As with every other development regarding the A22, there is sure to be plenty of media feedback on this latest scheme in the coming weeks!

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