The Portuguese Parliament has approved the final text presented by the Committee on Economy, Innovation, Public Works and Housing on the draft resolutions of the BE, PCP and PS parties regarding the Estrada Nacional (EN) 125, in the Algarve.
At issue was a draft resolution by the BE party, recommending the Government “promote the cohesion of the Algarve” through the rescue of the concession and requalification of the sections of the EN125 specifically "between Olhão and Vila Real de Santo António", with the conclusion of the works being "a matter of urgency”.
In the final text approved by all parliamentary groups, except the Liberal Initiative, it is recommended that the Government “proceed with the rapid completion of the EN125 rehabilitation works, including bypasses, access roads and connections provided for in the initial project, in particular, along the Olhão/Vila Real de Santo António section, regardless of the continuity of the legal process in progress”.
The executive is also asked, “for reasons of public interest and promotion of cohesion in the Algarve, to urgently develop the necessary procedures to rescue the Algarve Litoral sub-concession”, reads the document published on the Parliament's website.
"In the spirit of the decentralisation process and in strengthening the role of the regions, for a closer involvement of municipalities, the evaluation of the monitoring, management and maintenance of the EN125, as well as in the future, the A22, needs to be made, thus allowing municipalities to take an active part in the definition of mobility policies to meet the needs of the Algarve”.
The requalification of the EN125 was launched under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) in 2009, during the PS government led by José Sócrates and was later revised during the PSD/CDS-PP coalition executive, led by Pedro Passos Coelho.
The government of Passos Coelho ended up withdrawing from the scope of the Algarve Litoral (RAL) sub-concession the sections between Olhão and Vila Real de Santo António, transferring them to Infraestruturas de Portugal.
This solution was challenged in court by the RAL, which saw an arbitration court agree with it, but Infraestruturas de Portugal appealed, and the decision of the higher court is now awaiting.