MOTORISTS spent hours stuck in traffic last weekend after the total amount of jams accumulated to 24 kilometres on the A-7.
The majority of the traffic took place between Velez-Malaga and Estepona, particularly near Rincon de la Victoria, where the exodus of beach-users and attendees of the Torre del Mar Air Show caused a 13-kilometre pileup to build.
The new traffic misery comes after the Traffic Directorate (DGT) ruled out a series of measures to ease traffic congestion on Malaga’s roads this summer.
Drivers had complained after tailbacks reached 30 kilometres on the A-7 the weekend before, calling on the authorities to allow the hard shoulder to be used. However the DGT says it would not be safe do so and instead has suggested motorway-users stay off the roads in peak hours.
It is anticipated use of the province’s roads will increase by 5 per cent by the end of the summer, leaving drivers stuck in heavy traffic. The DGT has now recommended avoiding main roads between 8pm and 10pm, while traffic is at its heaviest, and making use of toll roads, which it claims save money on fuel consumption.
The Association of Drivers has demanded the body lowers the cost of toll roads, however, to compensate for the extra traffic, while, Mario Arnaldo, president of European Automobile Association (AEA), has suggested the DGT improve its communication programme to allow drivers to be aware of possible traffic jams.
He said, “the road capacity cannot be increased but information could be improved so drivers can plan their trips better.” He added multiple car collisions also fuelled the problem, saying, “motorists must maintain safety distances. The motorway’s capacity is 4,000 vehicles per lane per hour but this decreases in the case of an accident.”
Arnaldo also recommended the DGT find ways to reduce toll costs, claiming, “Malaga could become the victim of its own success. Tourist companies must find ways to reduce the cost of toll roads for their customers.”