The AP1

To make the “Motorway with Toll” AP1 (paid motorway between Madrid and France) completely free of tolls, and therefore the N1 (alternative, free road) less mortal, a group from Miranda demonstrated cutting the road, with the support of neighbours and the Platform of Briviesca.
There are more pictures, and available in bigger resolution

video on youtbe:

This happened a few days after the Socialist Party, now in power in Spain following a vote of no confidence that ousted the Popular Party from power after a devastating court ruling on corruption, announced that at the end of the concession to the private company that operates the AP1 toll road, it would not be extended again, leaving it free of tolls from November 2018.

manifa AP1 N1However, all the people who have been involved in the campaign to get the AP1 toll-free have reacted with caution; as the spokeswoman for the Miranda group said at the end of the roadblock, so many false promises and lies have been made that they will only believe this when they see it reflected in the Official State Gazette, BOE, and not simply in press headlines.

 manifa AP1 N1In another region of Castilla y León there is the AP-6 toll road, which completed 50 years of concession on the 29th of last January, with a ruling by the European Court of Justice declaring the works on the AP-61 Segovia, the AP-51 Ávila and the third Guadarrama tunnel illegal (these works were used as the excuse to extend the concession of the first one without yet knowing the deadline). Tolls continue to be paid on this motorway and some of its users have also joined forces on a platform to demand for it to be free of charge, a platform that has joined forces with Briviesca through the Union of Platforms, in a solidarity action that Diario de Burgos described as “the globalisation of pressure”.

This union of platforms considers tolls a discrimination in comparison with other areas of the country connected by two-lane roads in each direction for which tolls are not charged.

manifa AP1 N1 More comments can be read by various facebook groups, that closed group that spies on everyone, whether we are members or not, and is only accessible by selling your soul and that of your friends. These are some of those comments:

It will happen that even the […] non drivers will pay for something they don’t use. The taxpayers would foot the bill.

[…] pensioners are one of the groups most threatened by the dangerousness of the N1 at present.

 manifa AP1 N11.300€ is what has been paid by each Spaniard for the ransom to the banks’ bailout. According to the employer’s association, the cost of releasing all the APs would be about 9€ per Spaniard. By comparison, the Briviesca-Burgos toll is about 5€.

manifa AP1 N1Those who don’t use the roads also benefit from everything we see in the shops, or how do they think everything they buy arrives, or does anyone make all their clothes and only eat what their vegetable garden gives? And when the highway is toll-free (not free properly speaking), transporting things will be marginally cheaper, even though we do not notice it as consumers.

The money spent on tolls will be spent elsewhere, which would benefit the local economy and therefore the national economy.

 manifa AP1 N1The 70 million is the concessionaire company’s profit, not earnings that have to be compensated, since neither now nor when it is free does the state pay a euro. On the other hand, the concessionaire does not invest anything in maintenance either, since they themselves recognise that more than 300 million will be needed to update the road. And I only speak of the ap1 as it the one I usually “visit” …

The history of our discrimination for the benefit of the concessionaires and also of the State ( which we are all par of…).
The bottom line: a brutal surplus and hundreds of deaths and lifelong injuries. The price they made us pay and some want us to keep paying.

manifa AP1 N11974. Year of award of the contract. Deadline: 1994
The history of the infrastructure begins with a series of problems that the project has to overcome in its early years when its name was Burgos-Málaga.
1979. (1st Extension: New date for the End of Concession: 1999)
The delay in getting into operation leads the State to grant the first of the extensions.
1982. (2nd Extension: End of Concession 2003)
– new dates and conditions are set.
– two of the sections initially planned for the territory of the Basque Country are suspended and modified.
– the concession period is extended by the government presided over by Calvo-Sotelo
– the rates are changed
– a financial plan is drawn up which runs until 1996
1990. Review of the tariff system. Renegotiations in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994.
1994. (3rd Extension: End of Concession 2017)
the sections originally planned and not executed are segregated
The only section of the project in exploitation with tolls is the one that runs through the territory of Burgos.
technical improvements are fixed on the motorway
manifa AP1 N1A tariff discount formula of around 50% is included and applies only to truck traffic.
An extension of fourteen years for the operation, approved by the government presided over by Felipe González, is added to those already accumulated.
2000. (1st Shadow toll)
a discount is provided for passenger cars and buses
A formula is established whereby the State pays the concessionaire a compensatory amount, approved by the government presided over by José María Aznar. (According to official data, the contribution in 2005 amounted to 4.2 million euros)
2005. (4th Extension: End of Concession 30-11-2018)[5]
the concessionaire assumes the expansion work with a third lane between Ameyugo and Miranda
the toll is released for internal transit between the two collection points.
A new extension of the period of exploitation is established, approved by the government presided over by Rodríguez Zapatero.
2018. (Liberalization 30-11-2018)[6]

This will meet the expectations of the concession, which will finally be extended until 2018, i.e. the motorway will have been in private hands for 44 years, when the initial forecast was 20 years.

manifa AP1 N1It is most striking that the financial press insists so much on committing a criminal act such as maintaining [tolls] for the benefit of private companies with expired contracts. They are careful not to say that the government does not release anything, does not suppress anything, does not do the citizens any favours; simply assumes what is legally required; […] when this has not been the case, the concession has been extended, in the AP-1. Why do they not ask themselves whether Spain can afford the almost 70,000 millions that will not be recovered from the bank bailout?

[About] the fact that, starting in November, the management expenses of the AP-1 will be charged to all taxpayers and not only to those who use it. In other words, the people of Burgos not only have to pay for using the AP-1, but also with our [taxes] we finance the rest of the country to circulate for free on any road… what a way to discriminate… or is it not?

By that rule of three, that who does not have a car should have the spending on roads deducted from their taxes . Or that who does not have children, their share of the cost of education…. and so with everything…manifa AP1 N1
The millionaire should not pay taxes… for they already have money to take their children abroad, to have his own water supply, electricity, own doctor and so on…

Because we’re all Spanish and we all pay in common… like the pensions.

I feel sorry for Spain, and for the Spaniards who are unable to discern the lies and manipulations of the Disinformation Media.