Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in early October for a few weeks
'Fair and softly goes far' - Miguel de Cervantes

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Motorway toll fees on the AP7 (Cartagena to Vera) for 2019

It was announced mid-December 2018 that toll fees on various toll motorways, including the AP-7 (Cartagena to Vera sector) would be reduced by approximately 30% effective 15 January 2019, whereas toll fees would be abolished overnight between 00.00 an 06.00 from the same day. However, I have so far not been able to find the new formal tariff rate sheet for 2019.

However, a few days ago (on 14JAN2019), La Opinion de Murcia published an article (click here to to see it) that goes some way to clarifying what may be happening, although it still does not provide full details or a link to the new tariff sheet. It seems clear, however, that tariffs are being abolished completely for overnight trips between 00.00 and 06.00 effective midnight on 14 January 2019, so that from 00.00 on 15 January 2019 until 06.00 and each day thereafter no fee will be payable during this overnight time period.

For daytime travel, between 06.01 and 23.59 effective 15 January 2019 and each day thereafter, it seems that toll fees will be reduced by approximately 30% (applied as a 'discount'), but if my understanding of the article is correct, this reduction 'discount' will apply only to automated 'telematic' payments by card and implies it will not apply to toll fees paid in cash. Apparently the effective date for the changes is 15 January 2019, rather than the beginning of the month, to give time for payment systems software and equipment to be updated.

The article also states that the new tariff formula that has been put in place for 'troubled' (i.e. little used and loss-making) toll motorways such as the Cartagena-Vera sector of the AP-7 will avoid them being subject to the general rise in toll rates effective from 2019 of 1.67% applied to other toll motorways in Spain. I am not entirely certain if this derogation from the tariff increase will apply to toll fees paid in cash as well, but until I can find information to the contrary I am assuming that they will be, so that tariff fees applicable in 2019 will remain as they were in 2018 for most non-regular travellers like me who have always paid the toll fees in cash on the occasions when they use this toll road (* -please see update at end). I have no doubt that most regular commuters using ordinary cars and commercial carriers using lorries/trucks already use automated 'telematic' card payment systems so will benefit from the reduction 'discount'.

I cannot find in the Fomento website a tariff page for the Cartagena to Vera sector of the AP-7 in the general motorway tariff page in the website, although the.pdf file for the 2018 tariff does remain online in its website, so this is the basis for my assumption that tariffs will effectively remain unchanged for those who do not use 'telematic' payment methods, but instead pay in cash (* -please see update at end). If I find formal clarification if/when the tariff sheet is updated for 2019 I will of course write about it here in a later blog article.

PS/ You can find tariff information for the Cartagena to Vera sector of the AP-7 for 2018 in relevant pages of my own website (for example here - see at foot of page); I will update this and the other relevant pages in due course once better information becomes available to me.

* - UPDATE (THU 17JAN19 15.37 GMT) Information I have had since writing this blog article is that the 'approx 30%' discount on the previous tariff applies to cash payments as well, so it's even better news.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

The new Murcia International Airport (RMU) commenced operations today

Today, at long last, the new AIRM ('Murcia Region International Airport'), IATA code RMU, commenced flight operations, with its predecessor Murcia-San Javier (MJV) having its final civilian flight arrivals and departures yesterday (it will revert to being solely a military base for the Spanish military).

The first commercial flight arrival at RMU today was a Ryanair flight from East Midlands airport in the UK. It is interesting and pleasing that both the pilot and first officer on today's first Ryanair flight are Murcia Region natives ('Murcianos'), so naturally local publication 'La Verdad' had a short article to commemorate the day, included in which is a nice embedded video interview with the two air crew, from the flight deck of the aeroplane - you can read it and watch the video by clicking here. Ryanair themselves 'tweeted' about the event from their official Spanish Twitter feed - you can see it here.

The next aircraft to touch down at RMU today was the official jet of the King of Spain, as His Majesty arrived to open the new airport officially - RMU tweeted about this important occasion from their own twitter feed:
- the Royal jet arrives;
- His Majesty the King inaugurates the new airport terminal at RMU.

His Majesty the King's own official twitter feed tweets about His visit to RMU to undertake the formal opening of the airport - see the official Royal tweet, commemorating the event.

If you are interested in following events at the AIRM (Corvera Airport) RMU, you can do so by visiting:
- their official Twitter feed;
- their official page in the AENA website.

I have of course also updated all relevant pages of my own Spanish website (homepage) and:
- location page links for Alicante/ALC, Almeria/LEI and Murcia International (Corvera)/RMU;
- specific route directions for Murcia International (Corvera)/RMU (also in .pdf format here).

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Public Holidays for 2019 - Murcia Region, Valencian Community ('Communitat Valenciana') and Andalucía ('Andalusia'), Spain

I have prepared a list of 'Public Holidays' applicable in the Murcia Region of Spain for some years, because it is in this part of Spain that my own holiday home is located; I wrote a blog article about Public Holidays for 2019 in Murcia Region on 16 September 2018 and you can read it here;

- the actual list of Public Holidays for Murcia Region for 2019 can be downloaded from my personal website here (in .pdf format).

As I did last year, I have again prepared lists of 'Public Holidays' for 2019 for the two large neighbouring regions:

- for the Valencian Community ('Communitat Valenciana'), comprising the three Provinces of Alicante, Castellón and Valencia, you can download it here (in .pdf format).

- for the Andalucía/Andalusia region, comprising its eight Provinces of Almeria, Cadiz, Cordoba, Granada, Huelva, Jaen, Malaga and Sevilla [Seville], you can download it here (in .pdf format).

Although for Murcia Region, a much smaller administrative operation, this information is usually published no later than early October each year, for the much larger regions of the Valencian Community ('Communitat Valenciana') and Andalucía/Andalusia it is undoubtedly a much larger and more complex administrative operation, so takes somewhat longer to coordinate all the 'Local' holiday information in particular, so that they are not published until almost the end of December each year, just in time for the coming year when their lists enter into force.

All of this information is centralised in my personal website for Spain, in the Links page under Public Holidays. Within this part of my personal website for Spain, under the 'Sources' section there, there are links to the source documents issued by the regional governments in Murcia Region, the Valencian Community ('Communitat Valenciana') and Andalucía/Andalusia. If you wish to find 'local holidays' information for any municipality not mentioned in my own lists, the source documents will provide this level of detail, but bear in mind that municipalities within the large administrative regions of the Valencian Community ('Communitat Valenciana') and Andalucía/Andalusia are grouped alphabetically within separate sections for the three and eight constituent Provinces, respectively, so you need to know in which of the Provinces your target town/city is located, or go through these quite lengthy documents laboriously. For Murcia Region, much smaller and simpler administratively, all of its municipalities are listed alphabetically together, so it is much simpler to search. (NB/ You can also consult the official source documents for 2019 Public Holidays for Murcia Region, the Valencian Community ('Communitat Valenciana') and the Andalucía/Andalusia region by clicking on the .pdf links embedded at the foot of the three .pdf files linked to above.)

Finally, I hope at least a few readers will find all of this research and information of practical value on the occasions when they are visiting Murcia, Valencia or Andalucía, for national/regional/local holidays, or indeed other parts of Spain so far as national/regional holidays are concerned. I remind readers that such information for 2019 is summarised for the whole of Spain in its 'Official Gazette' ('BOLETÍN OFICIAL DEL ESTADO') here.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Public Holidays for 2019 - Murcia Region and local to Mazarrón

I have added a list of Public Holidays for 2019, applicable to the Murcia Region of Spain and including local public holidays in Mazarrón and nearby municipalities in the Region. You can find the list, which is available for download in .pdf format, in the Links page, under 'Public Holidays', of my personal Spanish website here (where you will also find a link to download public holidays for the current year, 2018, as this may still be useful for the remainder of the year).

You can also download the .pdf file of Public Holidays in Murcia for 2019 directly from this blog article by clicking here.

For those who are interested, you can view the official Spanish source documents for this information:
- here for the .pdf version (this is the formal official version);
- here for the HTML website version;
(These are the formal Murcia Region documents which contain the decisions authorising these public holidays, as gazetted in the Official Gazette of Murcia Region ["Boletín Oficial de la Región de Murcia"].)

As I wish to keep the list of Public Holidays I prepare as a one-page single-side document, I am unable to include every municipality included in the official BORM list, but I have tried to include those which will satisfy most needs. I hope this will be helpful to those who live in or visit the area.

NB/ If you do wish to find information for other municipalities in Murcia Region not included in my list, you can find the information required in the official Spanish source documents linked to above (either the .pdf or HTML versions), or by clicking on the link at the bottom of the .pdf file in my own website, linked to above.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

"Ryanair and Volotea are already negotiating with Aena to fly from Corvera"

According to the linked article:
(Rough partial translation plus a few brief comments)

They are talking about commencing operations from Corvera soon after "Reyes" in January 2019 (according to the article 'soon after' "Kings", celebrated on 6th January, which in 2019 is a Sunday), with operations at the existing Murcia-San Javier airport ceasing a day earlier.

This is the first time I have ever heard a semi-specific date mentioned, so perhaps it really IS going to open this time. (fingers crossed)

Source: http://www.eleconomista.es/transportes/noticias/9002829/03/18/Ryanair-y-Volotea-ya-negocian-con-Aena-volar-desde-Corvera.html

NB/ AENA recently formally took on the contract to manage the projected new Murcia International Airport, located near Corvera, for a period of 25 years.

PS/ This is a comment I made in response to someone when I re-posted the same article link in a closed Facebook group relating to the part of Spain where my holiday home is located, as it may perhaps be of interest to people here too: "I suppose at least by this Autumn the airlines which plan to fly in/out of this new airport will have to start including it in their schedules for the coming year if the plans are to gain credibility, but now that AENA is formally on board I begin to have a little more confidence, but don't doubt the level at which landing fees are set will be a hot topic for negotiation between the airlines and AENA. The article does mention AENA projection that current traffic at MJV (about 1.19 million passengers per annum) may fall below 1 million during Corvera's first year of operation, before gradually rising to the 4 million they project by the end of their 25 year management contract, but AENA does have a pretty good track record of managing its airport franchises."

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Motorway toll fees on the AP7 (Cartagena to Vera) for 2018

Earlier today, detailed toll fee tables for the AP7 motorway ('autopista') from Cartagena to Vera (and indeed throughout Spain on all toll motorways under government control) for 2018 became available, although the summary details have been available for several weeks, namely that toll fees will rise this year by almost 2% on average, after having decreased slightly in each of the past two years (0.4% in 2017 and 0.6% in 2016, respectively) - various media reports were published over the past month, but a decent summary is here in the europapress.es website.

Normally the concessionaire of the AP7 motorway ('autopista') from Cartagena-Vera, Aucosta, gets the details of the latest tariff up in its website fairly promptly, but so far that has not happened (the tariff for 2017 is the only version shown there), but I expect the tariff for 2018 to appear over the next week or so. However, updated motorway toll fee information for 2018 is already available in the website of the Spanish Ministry of Development ('Fomento') and relevant information for each toll motorway under its control is available here.

For the AP7 Cartagene-Vera sector the relevant table of motorway toll fee information for 2018 is available here. Toll fees are increasing slightly across the board, anywhere from €0.05 to €0.25, based on the distance. Two examples, the toll fee to/from Cartegena/Mazarron will be increased from €5.75 to €5.85 (an increase of €0.10). Over the whole length of this toll motorway concession, from Cartagena to Vera (and vice versa) the fee will rise from €13.90 to €14.15 (an increase of €0.25).

As usual, I have included links to all of this information in relevant pages of my own Spanish website here, specifically in the pages within the 'Location' section involving toll motorway options from some of the airports in the vicinity of my holiday home (i.e. Almeria/LEI and Murcia-San Javier/MJV).

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Public Holidays for 2018 - Murcia Region, Valencian Community ('Communitat Valenciana') and Andalucía ('Andalusia'), Spain

As in previous years, I have prepared a list of 'Public Holidays' applicable in the Murcia Region of Spain for some years, because it is in this part of Spain that my own holiday home is located; I wrote a blog article about Public Holidays for 2018 in Murcia Region on 11 October 2017 and you can read it here; the actual list of Public Holidays for Murcia Region for 2017 can be downloaded from my personal website here (in .pdf format).

As I did last year for the first time, I have again prepared a list of 'Public Holidays' for one of the larger neighbouring regions, the Valencian Community ('Communitat Valenciana'), comprising the three Provinces of Alicante, Castellón and Valencia, and you can download it here (in .pdf format).

Similarly, and for the first time this year, I have prepared a list of 'Public Holidays' for the largest neighbouring region of Andalucía/Andalusia, comprising its eight Provinces of Almeria, Cadiz, Cordoba, Granada, Huelva, Jaen, Malaga and Sevilla [Seville] and you can download it here (in .pdf format).

Although for Murcia Region, a much smaller administrative operation, this information is usually published no later than early October each year, for the much larger regions of the Valencian Community ('Communitat Valenciana') and Andalucía/Andalusia it is undoubtedly a much larger and more complex administrative operation, so takes somewhat longer to coordinate all the 'Local' holiday information in particular, so that they are not published until almost the end of December each year, just in time for the coming year when their lists enter into force.

All of this information is centralised in my personal website for Spain, in the Links page under Public Holidays. Within this part of my personal website for Spain, under the 'Sources' section there, there are links to the source documents issued by the regional governments in Murcia Region, the Valencian Community ('Communitat Valenciana') and Andalucía/Andalusia. If you wish to find 'local holidays' information for any municipality not mentioned in my own lists, the source documents will provide this level of detail, but bear in mind that municipalities within the large administrative regions of the Valencian Community ('Communitat Valenciana') and Andalucía/Andalusia are grouped alphabetically within separate sections for the three and eight constituent Provinces, respectively, so you need to know in which of the Provinces your target town/city is located, or go through these quite lengthy documents laboriously. For Murcia Region, much smaller and simpler administratively, all of its municipalities are listed alphabetically together, so it is much simpler to search.

Finally, I hope at least a few readers will find all of this research and information of practical value on the occasions when they are visiting Murcia, Valencia or Andalucía, for national/regional/local holidays, or indeed other parts of Spain so far as national/regional holidays are concerned. I remind readers that such information for 2018 is summarised for the whole of Spain in its 'Official Gazette' ('BOLETÍN OFICIAL DEL ESTADO') here.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Public Holidays for 2018 - Murcia Region and local to Mazarrón

(Please see UPDATE at end)

I have added a list of Public Holidays for 2018, applicable to the Murcia Region of Spain and including local public holidays in Mazarrón and nearby municipalities in the Region. You can find the list, which is available for download in .pdf format, in the Links page, under 'Public Holidays', of my personal Spanish website here (where you will also find a link to download public holidays for the current year, 2017, as this may still be useful for the remainder of the year).

You can also download the .pdf file of Public Holidays in Murcia for 2018 directly from this blog article by clicking here.

For those who are interested, you can view the official Spanish source documents for this information:
- here for the .pdf version (this is the formal official version);
- here for the HTML website version;
(These are the formal Murcia Region documents which contain the decisions authorising these public holidays, as gazetted in the Official Gazette of Murcia Region ["Boletín Oficial de la Región de Murcia"].)

As I wish to keep the list of Public Holidays I prepare as a one-page single-side document, I am unable to include every municipality included in the official BORM list, but in response to a comment received for my list for 2017 published in late 2016, I have added Fuente Alamo to my list for 2018, because it is fairly close to MCC, specially with the opening of the new motorway link a few years ago, and of course because of the popularity of the golf course at Hacienda del Alamo amongst many golfers in the area. I hope this will be helpful to those who live in or visit that area.

NB/ If you do wish to find information for other municipalities in Murcia Region not included in my list, you can find the information required in the official Spanish source documents linked to above (either the .pdf or HTML versions).

UPDATE (31DEC2017 21.35 GMT) I have written a blog article with details of public holidays for 2018 for Murcia Region, the Valencian Community ('Communitat Valenciana') and Andalucía ('Andalusia') - you can read it here.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Mazarrón - A policeman denounces the mayor's boyfriend for "threats"

This is going to be a somewhat "surreal" article, but is apparently based on real events in Mazarrón last week, on Tuesday 27th June to be precise, at the conclusion of the final plenary session of Mazarrón Council for June.

An off-duty member of the Mazarrón Local Police force (Policía Local de Mazarrón) was, it seems, talking with the Mayoress of the city, Alicia Jiménez, when he heard shouts of "I will kill you, I will kill you", uttered allegedly by the boyfriend of the Mayoress. It seems that during this incident or 'fracas', the Mayoress stood between the two men in an effort to keep them apart, and during it the Mayoress was pushed into the wall by the alleged assailant, that's to say her boyfriend, and was "stunned". She then said to the complainant (i.e. the off-duty local policeman), that "my personal life is my own" ("Mi vida personal es mía").

The policeman has now, it seems, lodged a formal complaint with the national police force, or Civil Guard (Guardia Civil). He also alleges that the Mayoress's boyfriend tried to renew his aggression against him, but that others present tried to halt this. The policeman, whose initials are 'MQ', has now said to the newspaper (see link at end): "... it is very sad that such things happen, and even more so when I was talking to the Mayoress in an atmosphere of absolute cordiality. I do not understand what Jiménez's boyfriend was trying to show/demonstrate [by his actions] at the plenary. In fact, this man accompanies the Mayoress to all public events and even appears in the photographs, and even more so when he is not a councilor or part of the local government. All this has happened because they are losing their nerves and do not control the situation. We are still owed a lot of money and we will not stop protesting, and less now. What they should now do is pay us and stop creating problems. [He reiterated that] ... my family and I feel threatened by these mafia practices that intimidate us when we oppose their policies." (" ... es muy triste que ocurran cosas así, y más aún cuando yo estaba hablando con la alcaldesa en un ambiente de absoluta cordialidad. No entiendo qué pintaba el novio de Jiménez allí en el Pleno. De hecho, este hombre acompaña a la regidora a todos los actos públicos e incluso aparece en las fotografías, y más aún cuando no es concejal ni forma parte del Gobierno local. Todo esto ha pasado porque están perdiendo los nervios y no controlan la situación. Nos siguen debiendo mucho dinero y nosotros no vamos a dejar de protestar, y menos ahora. Lo que tendrían que hacer es pagarnos y dejar de armar escándalos. Mi familia y yo nos sentimos amenazados por esas prácticas mafiosas con las que nos intimidan cuando nos oponemos a sus criterios").

The newspaper tried to contact the Mayoress, but she did not respond to their calls, but a spokesperson said: "Nothing has happened. There has been no problem at the plenary. He (the policeman) got into the alleged assailant and told him words about his (the assailant's, i.e the boyfriend's) personal life that were of no relevance. Jiménez's boyfriend did not like those words, so addressed himself to the policeman, but did not attempt to assault him." ("No ha pasado absolutamente nada. No ha habido ningún problema en el Pleno. Él se metió con el supuesto agresor y le dijo palabras sobre su vida personal que no venían a cuento. Al novio de Jiménez le sentaron mal esas palabras. Se dirigió a él, pero no intentó agredirle.")

For background information, for those not familiar with local politics in Mazarrón, there has been a long-standing dispute between the Mazarrón Local Police force and the Municipality of Mazarrón (Ayuntamiento de Mazarrón) over allegedly unpaid salaries. I heard some months ago about a "protest camp" that had been set up by some local police opposite the Town Hall and during my last visit to Spain during May saw this for myself - a quite significant number of tents had been set up on the plaza/square beside the Town Hall, surrounded by a light barrier - as I (obviously) visited the square during the daytime, an afternoon, there were only a few people present to guard their tents, but presumably more are occupied at night, although I did not hang around to find out.

I'd have thought it relatively easy to establish the FACTS of this dispute - that the Town Hall (and it Mayoress and Town Council) has, or has not, paid the monies due to its local police force. The fact that the Town Council seems not to have attempted to present any evidence they have have made the required payments leads me to suspect they probably have not, but I am obviously not in a position to know this for certain.

It is probable that the local council is short of funds, whether because funds/taxes have not been collected efficiently from those obligated to pay them, or because such funds are organically insufficient to meet expenditure commitments, or because funds once collected are not being applied correctly. I do know that a year or so back, local taxes were lowered somewhat, which seemed strange to me at the time - but as this was in the year prior to the last local elections, the cyncial me wondered at the the time whetehr this was merely a mechanism to persuade voters to vote for those who had put in place the redcution.

Neither the off-duty policeman nor the boyfriend is named in the article, standard practice in Spain, as the names of concerned parties are not revealed by the police, except sometimes in the form of their initials, until after the conclusion of any subsequent court case.

Source: Un policía denuncia al novio de la alcaldesa por «amenazas» (this article appeared in local regional newspaper 'La Verdad')

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Murcia International Airport ("Corvera") - another promotional video for a "ghost airport"

Another promotional video for the future Murcia International Airport ("Corvera"), currently and for some years a completed "ghost" and some would say an expensive "white elephant". Time will tell if this project can ever have its mothballs taken off and it can start to operate.

Of course too, there is the question of compensation for those whose land was expropriated to build the airport, still unpaid almost 10 years after the land was seized, not to mention agreement on compensation for AENA for the upgrade work it carried out at nearby Murcia San Javier airport only a few years ago. Refinancing of the debt incurred to build it is also a major and recurrent concern for the modestly-populated Murcia Region.

I hope the new airport opens eventually, but I ceased to hold my breath about it some years ago. Anyway, here is the video:



en
Videos