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Old December 10th, 2015, 12:17 AM   #5861
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Originally Posted by arctic_carlos View Post
The northernmost section of C-17 opened in June 2011, I used it just after its opening.

If I'm not mistaken all these projects built by the Catalan government are shadow-tolled. Therefore they were not affected by the financial crisis, as construction companies were interested in finishing the works to start getting money from the regional government once they were in service.
Other regions that used shadow tolls as funding (such as Galicia, Murcia, Madrid or Castilla-La Mancha) cut almost all road construction in 2008. The way these concessionaires work is kinda weird. Recently, the Catalan regional government paid a huge bailout in order for Cedinsa (who runs all Catalan shadow-toll motorways) not to go bankrupt. Anyway, you can't really compare one region with another -these Catalan motorways carry a lot of traffic and were attractive for concessionaires, and the motorways that were planned in Castilla-La Mancha would have been deserted.

Speaking of which, MP-203 has made it into the headlines once again today:

http://ccaa.elpais.com/ccaa/2015/12/...69_637437.html

Apparently, the regional government of Madrid wants to buy the concession to Cintra for a reduced price and finish the road. They say that it would reduce traffic on M-45, which was funded by shadow tolls -so that would spare the government some money.

The reasons why construction was stopped in 2007 -the junction with R-3 and and overpass over the high-speed railway, both owned by Fomento- are still there, and both Cintra and the regional government of Madrid say that Fomento "boycotted" MP-203 by not cooperating in the construction of them.

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There is not that big a need to build new roads in Spain anymore. At least from my limited experience they are already pretty good. If I was an absolute monarch there I'd spend the money elsewhere.
The road network in Spain is excellent, but there are some missing links here and there. Almost all of them are already under construction but works have an intermittent pace. When everything that is now U/C is finished (2020?) then we'll have a complete road network -if a country so big and diverse as Spain can have such a thing.
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Old December 10th, 2015, 12:37 AM   #5862
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The autovia/autopista network is Spain is far better to anything we have in the UK, but what genuinely surprised me on my last visit is that provision for electric cars is pretty much completely absent from all the efforts on road provision. Even on new roads, services don't have rapid chargers (or even seem to have been planned with future provision in mind) and looking at electromaps there are no electric highways at all.

Hoping that some enterprising upstart will pop up and provide Spain with a local equivalent of Fastned. Would love to cruise down the A7 in swish, silent EV...
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Old December 10th, 2015, 12:41 AM   #5863
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I think Andalusia has built by far the most new autovías since the crisis began, out of all regional governments.
In Castilla y Leon too. Remember ending Via de la Plata (Gijon-Seville) and approaching Portugal, plus the Valladolid eastern bypass (and some smal streches such as Aranda de Duero and so)

But... Castilla y Leon and Andalusia are the two biggest regions. This is, we should think each region and number of roads. For instance... Salamanca province is the only one that has all their roads with a paralel motorway (except last km. remaining to Portugal border) because... they have only two roads crossing the capital corner to corner plus one more to Avila-Madrid
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Old December 10th, 2015, 12:55 AM   #5864
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We're talking about motorways built by the regions, not about motorways built in the regions by the central government.

Castilla y León has not built any motorway after finishing A-601 in 2008.
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Old December 10th, 2015, 03:33 PM   #5865
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neb81 View Post
The autovia/autopista network is Spain is far better to anything we have in the UK, but what genuinely surprised me on my last visit is that provision for electric cars is pretty much completely absent from all the efforts on road provision. Even on new roads, services don't have rapid chargers (or even seem to have been planned with future provision in mind) and looking at electromaps there are no electric highways at all.

Hoping that some enterprising upstart will pop up and provide Spain with a local equivalent of Fastned. Would love to cruise down the A7 in swish, silent EV...
Yes, Spain often lacks those large rest areas like you have in other countries. Often you have to turn off the autovía and visit a fuel station near the motorway, but it often doesn't have a lot of parking other than a truck stop. There is not as much space for dedicated charging facilities.

The Spanish motorway system would be even better if they had better rest areas. I noticed many aren't particularly family-friendly.

They do have shaded parking in some areas. I've never seen that in France.
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Old December 11th, 2015, 01:03 PM   #5866
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Yes, Spain often lacks those large rest areas like you have in other countries. Often you have to turn off the autovía and visit a fuel station near the motorway, but it often doesn't have a lot of parking other than a truck stop. There is not as much space for dedicated charging facilities.

The Spanish motorway system would be even better if they had better rest areas. I noticed many aren't particularly family-friendly.

They do have shaded parking in some areas. I've never seen that in France.
With our traffic volumes, rest areas wouldn't be profitable in most cases -and in autovías there are no tolls to maintain them. Plus, it's also a cultural thing of ours. Spain has great food, something you'll definitely not find in rest areas -so we enjoy stepping out of the motorway and finding a place to eat local food, which is not hard since old nacionales were littered with them, and the ones that have survived the autovía boom are the biggest ones.

As for charging facilities, they're increasingly common in malls and big car parks, so in the coming years every town with one of these will have electric car charging spots. You'll just have to exit the motorway and look for one, just as you do today to find a place to eat
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Old December 11th, 2015, 04:24 PM   #5867
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There is not that big a need to build new roads in Spain anymore. At least from my limited experience they are already pretty good. If I was an absolute monarch there I'd spend the money elsewhere.
They should focus on the cities now, for example the northern section of M-30 in Madrid, and lane additions. M-203 is a good starting point to form an "M-60" of overcrowded 1+1-lane-roads in the region (all the M-4**, M-600, M-100 northern section) all elevated to regional motorway standards. It would contribute greatly the remoter commuter towns and should, as planned, have a southern variant to A-5 from A-4 which is now also M-4**. They absolutely should also be free sections to serve these purposes.

Last edited by RV; December 11th, 2015 at 04:30 PM.
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Old December 11th, 2015, 05:41 PM   #5868
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Re regional motorways, I think La Rioja and Cantabria remain the only two autonomous regions with no regional motorways at all? It's little wonder, though, as we are the smallest and least populated in the Peninsula.

Re rest areas. Typical roadside rest areas with a dedicated exit lane are almost exclusive to (physically or shadow-) tolled motorways. But they are nowhere near as good as, say, the French ones.

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With our traffic volumes, rest areas wouldn't be profitable in most cases -and in autovías there are no tolls to maintain them. Plus, it's also a cultural thing of ours. Spain has great food, something you'll definitely not find in rest areas -so we enjoy stepping out of the motorway and finding a place to eat local food, which is not hard since old nacionales were littered with them, and the ones that have survived the autovía boom are the biggest ones.
The problem with those restaurants on the old nacionales is that they're hard to find if you don't know them in advance. I've been always told that the best way to identify a good roadside restaurant is the number of trucks which are parked on the outside, but that's difficult to see when you're driving on the autovía. When you see the "restaurant" pictogram, it could be a good restaurant just a hundred metres from the exit, a bad one a bunch of kilometres farther or it might as well be out of business.

Food in rest areas isn't always that bad. It's more expensive, I'll give you that, but usually you can also find local produce or typical dishes. Besides, they're more convenient for the international tourist, as they're more "standarised" and they know what to expect. A possible solution for the lack of clients due to the low traffic, would be to build only one in one side of the motorway and make it accessible from either carriageway, such as the one in the AP-68 near Logroño (AADT ~10k): https://goo.gl/maps/AHJnRR4MRnH2. I've noticed that on the sides of some of the last-generation autovías there are reserved spaces for the future placement of rest areas, e.g.: https://goo.gl/maps/RTwbRERY9SU2. And it seems that Fomento has started to award concessions for new rest areas in such places: http://www.fomento.es/MFOM/LANG_CAST...reas_servicio/
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Old December 11th, 2015, 06:52 PM   #5869
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I personally recommend warmly visiting "pueblos" along the Autovías, taking a little trip of 2 Kms and look for a tapería with a lot of locals (usually mark of quality). As it was mentioned, Spain is a very diverse country and so it is it's gastronomy worth tasting it; it can vary very much even between two villages.
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Old December 11th, 2015, 06:59 PM   #5870
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Not every stop along the motorway is for a restaurant/gastronomy. It's kind of weird that many autovías even don't have simple parking areas.
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Old December 11th, 2015, 08:09 PM   #5871
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They should focus on the cities now, for example the northern section of M-30 in Madrid, and lane additions. M-203 is a good starting point to form an "M-60" of overcrowded 1+1-lane-roads in the region (all the M-4**, M-600, M-100 northern section) all elevated to regional motorway standards. It would contribute greatly the remoter commuter towns and should, as planned, have a southern variant to A-5 from A-4 which is now also M-4**. They absolutely should also be free sections to serve these purposes.
This too, but I'd spend more money on improving the public transport in big cities, particularly on the periphery of those cities. But beyond all that more money ought to be spent on education. It's not quite up to top European standard, particularly at the lower end (too many leave school early).
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Old December 11th, 2015, 10:28 PM   #5872
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RV View Post
They should focus on the cities now, for example the northern section of M-30 in Madrid, and lane additions. M-203 is a good starting point to form an "M-60" of overcrowded 1+1-lane-roads in the region (all the M-4**, M-600, M-100 northern section) all elevated to regional motorway standards. It would contribute greatly the remoter commuter towns and should, as planned, have a southern variant to A-5 from A-4 which is now also M-4**. They absolutely should also be free sections to serve these purposes.
A 180 km long M-60 was actually planned for a short while, before it was killed and replaced by a series of motorways just outside Madrid region. Some of them were cancelled too (Guadalajara-Tarancón, A-40 extension to Ávila). I'd rather build the missing link of A-40 between Mocejón and Ocaña, it would take traffic away from Madrid. It was planned to be built with AP-41 before the latter got cancelled, thus severely delaying this important section.
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Old December 11th, 2015, 10:35 PM   #5873
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This too, but I'd spend more money on improving the public transport in big cities, particularly on the periphery of those cities. But beyond all that more money ought to be spent on education. It's not quite up to top European standard, particularly at the lower end (too many leave school early).
This is on the verge of the off-topic, but public transport in Spanish big cities is excellent. I'd just throw in a few buses here and there (especially in the suburbs) to make it perfect, but I'm pretty sure that the cost-benefit ratio of doing this would be awful.
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Old December 11th, 2015, 10:55 PM   #5874
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This is on the verge of the off-topic, but public transport in Spanish big cities is excellent. I'd just throw in a few buses here and there (especially in the suburbs) to make it perfect, but I'm pretty sure that the cost-benefit ratio of doing this would be awful.
I agree if we are talking about central areas of Barcelona or Madrid. However in midsize, but still not small cities it's not as good as in equivalent size German or Swiss towns. Admittedly that's only my own casual observation and I have by no means been in all sizeable cities in Spain.

To be a bit more on topic I drove around Andalusia earlier this year and found the road network to be excellent. The only small complaint I had is about signs which would occasionally point you to a gas station or some other amenity, you'd leave the motorway but find nothing...
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Old December 11th, 2015, 10:59 PM   #5875
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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Not every stop along the motorway is for a restaurant/gastronomy. It's kind of weird that many autovías even don't have simple parking areas.

It is true in almost all of them due to, when they were built, many services where on paralel roads. They pointed then... and that's all. After a while some areas have been built but just in those cases where traffic deserves a kap-ex.

Anyway it is known... as many truck in front of restaurant, better food. Therefore... choose.


For next journey in Spain, ask us and will try to recommend anything interesting.
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Old December 13th, 2015, 04:28 PM   #5876
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Driving through Valencia from Paterna to Sant Pau (Spain) 8.12.2015 Timelapse x4

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Old December 13th, 2015, 04:51 PM   #5877
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And I thought that the 3-lane roundabouts in Vitoria or Burgos were already big enough...
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Old December 13th, 2015, 05:26 PM   #5878
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Why they so enormous in Spain? In Valencia there is even a 10 + 10-one!
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Old December 13th, 2015, 10:07 PM   #5879
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At 1:30 one can see one of the contestants of my pool of what will be completed first: The new Mestalla stadium. Others include lines 9 and 10 of Barcelona metro, the last section of A-22 motorway, and the Tokyo mega-pyramid. This is actually the second iteration of the pool, the first included N-260 between Fiscal and Sabiñánigo (which was finally completed and open to traffic in 2012, thus winning the pool) in place of A-22.
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Old December 13th, 2015, 10:42 PM   #5880
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Barcelona's L9 will open next February and L10 will also open in 2016.
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