The Executive estimates that in 2024 a payment system for use could be implemented in the State’s road network , which can be extended to the rest of the roads, seeking a social and political agreement, as stated in the Recovery, Transformation and Resilence Plan .
The Executive maintains that, according to international experience, 2 to 3 years is the minimum time necessary to develop the regulatory instruments and create the precise structure to implement this pay-per-use system at the national level.
As stated in the document, this measure would be part of the Transport Mobility and Financing Law , with which the Government intends to introduce in Spain the principles of “he who pollutes pays” and “he who uses pays.” It is expected that in the first semester of 2021 the text will be raised to the Council of Ministers for a first reading and that it will be approved in the second semester of 2023.
The introduction of an income system that guarantees funds necessary for the maintenance of the road network State will be dealt with with professional carriers in order to reach an agreement, as well as with the autonomous communities and other administrations.
Individuals will also be affected, so an awareness and sensitization campaign will be carried out until 2024 about the need for this measure. The Executive expects a certain initial rejection of the population in general, so it is advisable to have affordable, scalable and progressive rates.
Likewise, reductions or bonuses are contemplated for certain more disadvantaged groups or regular users in certain sections. Currently, the state network exceeds 26,466 kilometers in length, of which about 12,000 kilometers are high-capacity roads, being the longest in Europe.
The Executive points out that conservation costs are increasing and that it is not possible for them to be directly assumed by budgetary resources, which is generating an accumulated deficit of network maintenance, with a loss of its value, as well as a deterioration of the quality of the service and consequences on road safety.
For this reason, it understands that imposing a payment per use would guarantee the conservation of the road network , generate incentives towards greater efficiency in this mode of transport and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In the case of heavy vehicles authorized to transport goods by road, it is planned to promote the regulatory conditions necessary for the cost of this measure to be borne by shippers.
With these tolls on the highways, the aim is to provide the system with a mechanism to guarantee its financial sustainability, introduce incentives for more sustainable and efficient vehicles and internalize external costs linked to factors such as environmental impact (pollution, noise, occupation of space ), congestion or maintenance of infrastructures.