In a bid to improve both the flow of traffic and safety of the roads, the Ministry of Development has announced that from April heavy goods vehicles will be banned on almost 300 kilometres of main roads 240 of which are in the Valencia region.
The ban on vehicles over 7,500 kilograms affects two major routes, a 170 kilometre section of the N-332 between Silla and de San Juan, north of Alicante, and 125 kilometres of the N-340 between Hospitalet del Infante in Tarragona, Cataluña and Oropesa in Castellon.
Both sections have a high concentration of accidents, black spots and sections of roads with improvements pending, some of which have been outstanding for many years. On section of the N-332 between Favara and Sueca has recorded 18 accidents resulting in 5 deaths and 22 people seriously injured on a single stretch of just 10 kilometres. Remedial work was awarded in 2007 but then frozen. Much of the N-340 route has a widening scheme pending and doesn´t have hard shoulders or passing points along most of the affected route.
Trucks which would normally use the routes to reach their destinations will now have to use the motorway network. The bad news for hauliers is that a lot of their route will be on toll roads, but the good news is that the ministry is negotiating with the toll road operator to offer a discount from April, offering between 35% and 50% of the full price.
It is expected that the road hauliers associations will not simply accept the new proposals, as they already consider the 22 billion euro the industry pays in tax each year is over 4 times the investment in the road network they use, although with the price of fuel now reducing, there is a possibility, although unlikely, that they will simply accept the diversion welcomingly.
Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/46205/