«The solution in the Ebre is that the AP-7 has three lanes»
The measures to reduce the maximum speed and install speed cameras on the AP-7 section, agreed yesterday by the Servei Català de Trànist and the Ministry of Transport, are aimed at reducing the accident rate, after the release of the tolls, mobility along the road axis has increased by 30% and congestion due to accidents has doubled. However, from the Federation of Companies d'Autotransport of Tarragona (FEAT), they consider that these changes will not help to have fewer accidents. "If a driver is focused on the road there will be no accidents, because these occur when one changes the radio or is distracted by the mobile," says the vice president of the FEAT, Joaquim Riudeubas.
Likewise, the representative of the sector, who regrets that this type of decision "is made behind the backs of professionals", defends that the collapses that have occurred on the AP-7 since the release of the tolls have not been the fault of the trucks. “We have been forced to drive on the highway for a long time, and when it became free, all cars began to use it.” In this sense, Riudeubas argues that "administrations should spend the money to promote alternative routes that can be taken by cars to go on a long weekend and on vacation to the Costa Brava or Tarragona."
In spite of everything, there are also passenger cars that, with the free highway, stopped driving on it. Jordi Prades is a commercial that, until recently, went down daily from the Riera de Gaià to Terres de l'Ebre. "When the highway began to be free I stopped using it, the influx of both cars and trucks grew a lot and the danger increased," says the commercial, who does believe that lowering the maximum speed to 100 km/h between Calafat and L' Ampoule can reduce the accident rate.
Edu, a resident of Salou who passes through this section once a week, does not agree: «Since there are only two lanes in each direction, there are usually many overtaking trucks, with slower speeds than cars, and they cause queues along the journey. Not counting when accidents or breakdowns occur that cause one of the lanes to be partially unused. For this reason, Edu defends, "the solution lies in an urgent expansion to three lanes in each direction."