Lats weekend OC Avanza, business organization in Orihuela Costa added its voice to that of Eduardo Dolón, mayor of Torrevieja in calling for the abolition of the AP7 tolls at La Zenia and Los Montesinos. Raymond Kearney, president of OC Avanza points out the return journey toll cost to Alicante Airport is almost 16€.
The not-so-popular alternative is to spend a long time in traffic jams on the N332, this is quite unbearable in the summer heat and coupled with the long queues at check-in and at security checks. The whole stress element of travelling to or from Orihuela Costa from Alicante Airport is turning people off holidaying or buying property in Orihuela Costa. To add to the congestion many vehicles travelling on the AP7 leave the motorway between Quesada and Campoamor clogging up the N332 every day.
Most Orihuela Costa businesses rely on tourism. The many excellent restaurants and bars need tourists to keep their businesses afloat and to give their staff work continuity. Six years ago, OC Avanza organized a petition calling for the abolition of the toll at La Zenia.
Over 7,000 people signed the petition and it was presented to the then mayor of Orihuela. Political party CLR presented a motion at the Orihuela Town Hall Plenary meeting, the motion was approved by all political parties except Claro, who voted against the abolition of the toll.
Visitors from our 5 closest neighbouring cities Cartagena, Murcia, Orihuela, Elche and Alicante are put off by the expensive or difficult journeys to visit Orihuela Costa. Most residents of these five cities rarely travel to Orihuela Costa to shop, eat out or even to spend a day on the beach. AP7 tolls from Girona to Alicante will end this year but the two tolls in a 10km stretch that effects businesses, residents and visitors to Orihuela Costa are set to continue for a further 28 years.
Kearney said “Orihuela Costa’s commerce and hospitality sector are badly effected by these abusive tolls as well as residents who have to face traffic jams every day on the N332”.
We are grateful also to the Orihuela Chamber of Commerce president Mario Martinez for publicly speaking out over the weekend about abolishing the AP7 tolls. Likewise, the Cabo Roig Business Association whose very livelihood is under severe threat from up to 100 illegal traders selling illegal goods on a daily basis also whole-heartedly support the removal of the AP7 tolls.
A spokesperson for the association said “We are under fire on all fronts, we pay our taxes, we employ hundreds of people but the local authorities don’t support us, we hope they listen soon”.