Portuguese Tolls & Police ........

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by billkce, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. billkce

    billkce Funster

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    Two friends of ours have just driven into Portugal from Cabopino,

    their experiences may be of interest, and actually are quite amusing:


    'We had heard a lot of tales about the new electronic tolls introduced on certain Portugese motorways, but specifically effecting travellers coming over the bridge from Spain to Portugal. We crossed over clutching our Euros determined not to be caught out. We spotted the cameras on the overhead gantrys and the toll signs, and pulled over to a police outpost where a company van signed up with the toll logo was also parked, complete with guy handing out explanatory leaflets. :thumb:

    Very helpful man who was obviously waiting all day for someone to stop and talk to him. When we eventually got away, dehydrated and hungry, we knew the easiest way to pay was to stop at the next garage (a Cepsa one) and use their electronic wireless machine. As soon as we got close to the paypoint one could hear the sound of tired, angry and frustrated travellers. By the time we reached the bedraggled female operator, she explained for the 700th time that the machine had stopped working 4 hours previously, and that this had been the story most days since its inception a month previously. Reception of the radio waves that carried the signal was poor etc etc.

    She said our best bet would be to come off at the next junction and complete our journey by N roads,not the best advert for the system. Alternatively we could pay in one of the Post offices in Albufuria, which was confirmed in our explanatory leaflet. Carried on along the motorway and stopped at the next garage; it was not in the scheme, so onto our camp site.

    Set up, and decided to cycle up to the local sub post office about 2 miles away, as the receptionist at the site stated they would deal with it.Yes you guessed, they didn't; it had to be the main post Office in Albufuera.So back to the site to collect my jumper and lights for the bike, and decided I could just make it there prior to closing at 1900.

    Huge hill up to Albufuera. but parked my bike outside and stepped into post office with about 8 people in front of me for 3 counters at 1845. Got to counter 3 at 1850 and in my best Portugese/English explained that I wanted to pay my electronic toll The nice lady asked me for my ticket, and I explained very slowly and deliberatly that I didn't have a ticket for the toll. I was an occasional user and smugly pointed out the appropriate section in my now sweaty, crumpled leaflet.

    No, she explained even more slowly and smugly, your Post office Counter ticket! :Doh: As you enter, you should take a numbered ticket from the machine and when your number appears on the VDU, you get served. I walked back with steam coming ot of my ears, daring anyone to even smile or grin my way......

    With green ticket number 1567 in my hand, I was now behind six people that I had seen come in after me. At 1900 I went and spoke to the very nice man on counter 2 who told me in poor English that they had no facility to deal with the Electronic taxes.He refered me to the very nice lady, back on Counter 3 who could explain in English.

    We pretended that we hadn't met before, and she explained that although the leaflets state that Foreign registred vehicles can pay in cash at a Post Office, they cant, its as simple as that, there is currently no facility to pay at a Post Office.

    She suggested I should try the Cepsa garage on the motorways. Do you know that song "there's a hole in my bucket Dear Liza, Dear Liza".

    My cycle ride back was full of expletives regarding the whole system. I gave up, and in the words of the Receptionist, at the camp office, when I explained my story,

    "My friend you have tried; they dont give a S**T, you shouldn't give a S**T either......:Doh:

    So on our return to Spain we thought we would sneak out avoiding the Toll saga and use the N roads. I had visions of loads of wanted posters, along the way, with pictures stating "Have you seen this van?" but we made it safely to the village of Olhao. I foolishly turned into a Barclays Bank in a slip road off the main street. They were unable to supply cash to Barclays UK customers so I left empty handed, got back in the van and turned left back onto the main road. Sitting in the slip road I had entered previously was a marked Policia Vehicle with three mean looking Hombres inside. As I drew up parallel with them they indicated that I should pull back into the same lay-by and turned on their Blue lights.

    Realising I could not out run them, I meekly complied and returned into the space I had just vacated.They zoomed around and blocked me in and all of the other traffic in the slip road.The driver got out backed up by his buddy and they didn't draw their Glocks, but both had mean haircuts and guts to match and neither was clean shaven.The driver told me to get my documents and I wished I had tried harder to pay that toll. He then told me I was being given an instant fine for crossing the Stop Line.When I remonstrated that I had been stopped at the junction for some 3 or 4 minutes waiting to execute my left turn, he said "No you cant turn left here across the road". When I pointed out that the sign was merely a Stop sign, not a No left turn he said "you crossed the single white line in the middle of the road. "When I pointed out that due to the size of the vehicle I would have crossed the white line if I had turned right he told me it was a 50 Euro fine or get nicked I said "Would you prefer cash officer"

    Bizarrely he gave me 12 cents change, the exact fine is 49.88,what sort of a country has a 49.88 fine. I felt like asking him. Could I call him a jumped up, red necked, Xenophobe, and he could keep the change but, I didn't. So I escaped the tolls.......... however.........................:Sad:'

    Made me laugh, but I'll still go to Portugal anyway.

    Billkce
     
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  2. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Makes me think "why bother". Europe is a big place, why go looking for trouble when there are plenty of alternatives.

    It certainly isn't how a bankrupt country should be treating tourists.
     
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  3. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    Long before the electronic system was here they had "ordinary" toll roads where you get a ticket and pay when you exit the motorway.

    They also have a "Via Verde" lane which frequent users use having bought the special box thingy which automatically logs their toll journeys and sends monthly bills.

    Spanish colleagues of ours have for years been racing through the Via Verde lanes (no barriers) and although each time their number plate is photographed, they have never received a fine of any description...

    I will use the new electronic system with my Portuguese Hymer on the way to Marjal. Theoretically I should receive the bills by post... We'll see...

    JJ :Cool:
     
  4. stcyr

    stcyr Funster

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    That story had me in stitches :Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:
     
  5. bobandjanie

    bobandjanie Funster Life Member

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    Bob put a 'like' on Bill's post. Me it left feeling drawn and tight chested. Arghhhh Jane :Doh:
     
  6. dshague

    dshague Funster

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    going from santander to albufeira next month trying to dodge the toll roads .when i looked at list only found the one near albuferia .could not find any more on way down .:Eeek:
     
  7. Sundowners

    Sundowners Funster Life Member

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    We came over the border into Portugal at Vila Formosa, drove from there to the Algarve without going on Motorways, beautiful countryside, if not in a hurry, why oh why use the motorways, soak up the real Portuguese countryside. Roads are good all the way.

    The A22 across the Algarve is a toll road, use the N125 instead. If coming over the bridge from Spain on the A22, come off on one of the first two exits onto the N125 as they are free, the local traders insisted that they be free so the Spanish would still come over to shop, and the authorities accepted this and locals in Portugal have not heard anything about a toll being charged to go over the bridge from Spring this year.

    Nigel and Pamala
     
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  8. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    They treat tourists very well... Guess what? It is not the tourists they are trying to tax with the new tolls... it is their own people... As my Portuguese Boss says, "They could come around to our houses, point guns at us and demand more tax money... I prefer them just to tax us for using the motorways!"

    Nobody on here seems to take any notice of the fact that the foreign vehicles are more or less left in peace...

    And as the Sundowners say... no need to use the toll roads anyway...

    Still... as a good friend of mind says...

    "never mind"...

    JJ :Cool:
     
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  9. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    hiya nigel. you know the game .no tolls ,no motorways ,never use a duall carriageway if there is a smaller road going the same way .
    the best stops arent on busy roads . nor the best places to eat . drink or shop. in spain use the servicio roads you can stop at all the interesting places on the way. if crossing from spain into to portugal in the south you need to be on the small road in ayamonte to get cheap fuel and change your spanish gas bottle before the border.look after the pennies the pounds look after them selves .
     
  10. Sundowners

    Sundowners Funster Life Member

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    Talking of gas bottles - we got our American bottles filled up at Bouliqueime in the Algarve. It's an autogas place that fills any bottles. Take the turn north to Bouliqeuime off the N125 - 73 cents/litre.

    We were told he takes his time, they weren't wrong there, but we were prepared to wait if he fills bottles.

    He was a nice guy too.

    Nigel and Pamala
     
  11. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    lots of gpl garages and depots in portugal no body cares its a bottle fill it . never had a problem in portugal lots of the garages are bp ones that have gas. but keep your eyes open there were last year loads of new tanks waiting to be fitted in lots of places . have fun . mind spain dont care either but it costs more than exchange bottles .
     
  12. bob and jules

    bob and jules Read Only Funster

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    We're currently in Spain having spent a few weeks in Portugal, also trying to avoid the electronic tolls. However, one or two can catch you out. I appreciate that the minor roads are the way to see a country but there are times when you need to make ground and the motorways are the only option.
    BUT be aware that crossing from Spain into Portugal on the northern motorway (A28?) there is no warning of the electronic tolls after Vila Formosa until you are actually on the damn thing.

    We also got caught with one near Portimao. Before returning to Spain, not wishing to travel without paying, just in case, I went to the Post Office in Praia de Luz. Please note here... there IS a way foreign plated owners can pay the tolls, but only as a pre payment. Take your V5 to the Post Office and ask to prepay for your journey, in our case Luz to the Spanish border.

    I'm not entirely convinced about this 'can't recognise UK plates business' because I gave the lady my reg no. and she told me what class of vehicle it was from her computer. She then gave me a ticket, after having paid a 20 euro upfront payment.

    The ticket showed my Reg. and a unique number allocated to my vehicle.
    This implies that the cameras will recognise my number and knock the required toll off the balance on my unique number.
    She explained that there is no way of retrospectively paying your electronic toll.

    The ticket was valid for 5 days and could be topped up on the unique number at other post offices.

    Incidentally, I've no balance left anyway as the tolls from Portimao to Spain for a Class 2 vehicle comes to a tad over 20 Euros anyway.

    Hope this of some help, any other queries we can help with, just ask
     
  13. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    It certainly is to me, it's says stuff that for a game, I can't be bothered.

    'er indoors keeps saying she wants to "see Portugal" but she's never going to if they want to make it that difficult. Anyway, another thread on Barcelona says we'll be going home from Zahora going east not west.

    Remember, this is all about labour costs. Loads of unemployed Portuguese but to save cost they introduce this half cocked system to ensure they keep them unemployed and not in a nice warm box taking tolls.
     
  14. Sundowners

    Sundowners Funster Life Member

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    Hi
    IF you want (or have) to use the toll roads and are prepared to pay for them, it's not a problem. If, however, you are like us and prefer not to use them (most of the time) then there are other roads, we had NO TROUBLE staying off the Portugese toll roads. As we said before,coming from Spain the first two exits on the toll road are FREE, (A22) that gives you the chance to get off without paying. The locals can pay after using the road, so we can't see it being different for tourists ??. you don't only pay at post offices, there are many ''Pay Shops'' ------you still have to find then though:Sad:
    Nigel & Pamala-----Zahora
     
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  15. bob and jules

    bob and jules Read Only Funster

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    Don't get me wrong we've done hundreds of miles in Portugal and never been near a motorway, never mind a toll. But if you need to use them and want to pay, its actually not too much of a drama if you know where you want to go and when.

    And for the record.. irrespective of Portugals government and/or its attitude to its economy or workers, its still a fabulous and friendly place to travel. Just because it may not fit with your political ideals doesnt mean you shouldnt take the trouble to visit and enjoy it
    Those individual people or workers are more than grateful for our financial input.
     
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  16. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Nothing as grand as political ideals, me Grumpy Old Man with no patience. If I want problems I can stay at home and have my fill. I've nothing against paying tolls when needed but farting about finding somewhere to park, somewhere to pay, with a language barrier. No thank you, too many alternative options in Europe.
     
  17. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    Practically no messing about to park where you want to here in Portugal Mr Grumpy Brian...:Rofl1: :Rofl1: :Rofl1:

    In ninety pecent of the country no traffic jams either...

    Indeed I find it a great place to be cured of overblown, professional grumpiness...:Wink:

    JJ :Cool:
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2012
  18. bob and jules

    bob and jules Read Only Funster

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    JJ, just for the sake of correctness, if you re-read the posts I think you'll find it should be Grumpy Old Brian, not Bob, as I have been singing the praises of lovely Portugal. Apology awaited:BigGrin: ha ha

    And Brian, where is this Utopian place in Europe that where you can converse with anyone without a language barrier and park where you like, Asda in Blackpool ?
     
  19. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    I don't hold a patent on Grumpiness, Bob is entitled to be just as grumpy as me.

    Sir, on behalf of President Obama I take that comment as slur on the good name of Wal Mart and the fine people of the United States of America.
     
  20. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    I am very, very, very sorry Bob... I have done the correction...:Blush:

    JJ :Cool:
     
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