As from the 8th of December, the over 22,000 light and heavy vehicles which cross from Spain to the south and centre of Portugal every day will have to pay new tolls to use Portugal's expressways. This is the second phase of the transformation of some Portugues expressways, which were SCUT –Sem Cousto Para o Utilizador– from free to toll-roads. Other expressways in the north of the country became toll roads in October.
Now the A-24 SCUT Interior Norte, the A-25 SCUT Beira Litoral Alta, the A-12 SCUT Beira Interior and the A-22 SCUT Algarve are also toll roads. This principally affects those entering Portugal from Andalusia at Ayamonte (Huelva), and from Castille and Leon, at Fuentes de Oñoro (Salamanca). This second phase of the plan to establish new tolls should have come into operation on the 15th of April, but Portugal's political instability delayed its implementation.
There is a system of exemptions and discounts on toll payments, which is, however, only for those who live or work close to the expressways. This special exemption allows users who qualify to make 10 trips a month without paying, and gives a 15% discount after that. Spanish drivers cannot benefit from these measures, so the National Federation of Spanish Transport Associations (FENADISMER) has taken a complaint against the Portuguese Government for discrimination to the European Union, with the aim that transport professionals and those Spaniards who frequently use the expressways in the Centre and North of Portugal may also receive these discounts.