More than nine months have passed since the tolls of the Catalan highways which are owned by Condition. Making these roads free of charge was a highly celebrated decision by drivers, a historic claim, but this premature joy has been fading as problems have arisen when it comes to putting your hands on the wheel: more vehicles circulating, more traffic jams, plus accidents and, unfortunately, an increase in deathly victims. Ultimately, these highways have become more insecure. These are the conclusions drawn from the more than 2,000 tweets analyzed by EL PERIÓDICO from the Twitter account of the Catalan Transit Service (SCT) focusing on the most important road in Catalonia in terms of traffic, such as the AP-7a highway that at times seems to collapse.
According to the calculation carried out by this means, taking into account the main incidents that occurred on the AP-7, since September 1 there has been an average of 2.3 traffic jams per day. In the next Map the location is shown and each of these incidents is detailed.
The increase in black spots focuses on what we could call the ‘Extended Metropolitan Area’, which would range from Vilafranca del Penedès until The Rock of Valles and where the highest concentration of incidents, especially in the Work daysrun from Barberà del Valles (a big black dot, as well as other Vallesan enclaves) to The Papiola section with a high traffic density and with a road connection knot that connects it with other main roads such as the C-58, the B-23, the A-2 and the C-16.
On the other hand, the retentions that are generated in those points where a Toll, how can it be The Rock of Valles, Martorelll’Hospitalet de l’Infant either The Vendrellspecially in Weekend and where peaks of up to 20 kilometers of queues have been reached. Gelida, l’Ametlla de Mar, l’Ampolla, Montmeló, Sant Cugat and Parets del Vallès… are other points that are frequently mentioned in incident messages.
As for the reason for these retentions, one key should be highlighted, according to the analysis: a considerable rise in the number of accidents or incidents in the form of breakdowns in which they are involved heavy duty trucks that totally conditions the normal flow of circulation and that generates long and long queues until these vehicles can be retired.
Finally, a special mention must be made, and also a call to drivers and passengers to be extremely safe, to the rise in fatalities on the AP-7, which on more than one occasion have occurred when the occupants of a vehicle have exited their cars to deal with an accident or breakdown.