Driving in Spain can be a pleasure: you can leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind you and enjoy whizzing along vast stretches of clear and well-preserved road. Because toll roads in Spain tend to be more expensive than those in France or Germany, the motorways are generally better maintained. But this isn’t true of every road. A recent survey asked Spanish motorists what they thought about their motorway system, and asked them to rank some of the motorways that they used.
There are many factors that can contribute to a negative driving experience. The prevalence of drivers that speed or drive drunk is one such factor, although this is out of the control of both the driver and the authorities. Other factors include distractions on the road and the number of traffic accident a road experiences. But the focus on this article will be on the state of the roads themselves.
The Six Worst Motorways in Spain
A poll that was commissioned by Spain’s Organisation of Users and Consumers (OCU) asked 1,259 drivers to rate Spain’s roads. This was a comprehensive poll that sought opinions on everything from road condition and signposting to the presence of guardrails and the number of service stations. Here is a list of the motorways that have been named the ‘worst in Spain’ based on the results of this research:
AP-8: Autopista del Cantábrico
The AP-8 runs from Irún to Bilbao and according to the drivers who participated in the OCU poll, this road scored a very poor rating of 5.7 out of 10. The factor that got the lowest score was the excessive flow of traffic: other complaints included the constant roadworks that take place on this road, and what was perceived to be a lack of safety on the curves. As a result, this AP-8 was ranked as the worst motorway in Spain, and should be avoided if you’re on a road trip and looking for a fun driving experience.
AP-1: Autopista del Norte
The AP-1 runs from Vitoria to Irún, and although it is the second worst hotel on this list, meaning it is slightly better than the AP-8, it still only scored a rating of 5.8 out of 10. The biggest cause of complaint about this motorway were the small number of service stations and rest stops that can be found along it, as well as the presence of roadworks on the road. Other complaints that were recorded include the huge amount of heavy traffic that formed on the road, and the fact that the entrances and exits were badly designed which made them difficult to navigate.
A49: Autovía del V Centenario
The A49 runs from Seville to Portugal, and according to the poll it has been scored a rating of 6 out of 10. The main reason that this particular stretch of road received a low score is because of the small number of service stations that it contains in conjunction with excessive traffic. Other negative comments about the A49 include the amount of roadworks that are being conducted on the road right now, and the poor state of the roads themselves.
A-7: Autovía del Mediterráneo
The A7 runs from Algeciras to Almería. This road is a dual carriageway rather than a motorway, but it is a significant road which is why it was included in this poll. Like the A49, the A-7 was given a rating of just 6 out of 10. The main reason given for this low score was the inconvenience of the huge amount of roadworks on this road. Other causes for complaint include the design of the entrances and exits to the road (in fact, the A-7 got the lowest rating for this out of all the roads on this list), the poor state of the roads themselves, and the lack of availability of service stations on the road.
AP-9: Autopista del Atlántico
The AP-9 runs from Ferrol to Portugal. In the poll this motorway was rated a score of just 6.1 out of 10. The main reason that this road received such a low score was because the roads here were considered to be so poorly maintained. Other problems that troubled motorists include the frequent roadworks on the roads (no doubt as a result of the poor state of the roads).
A52: Autovía de las Rías Baixas
The A52 runs from Benavente to Vigo, and like the AP9, this road was also rated a score of just 6.1 out of 10. The main problem with this road was the road works and the state of the roads (as mentioned above, these two problems often come hand in hand). This road also received some of the lowest ratings out of all the motorways included on the list for its very low number of service stations and for the lack of safety barriers included on the road.
Don’t let this list put you off driving in Spain: Spain is the perfect base to explore wider Europe, and this fascinating country provides so much to see and do without ever leaving its borders! Are you thinking of moving to Spain? Then why not get in touch with our local property experts, who are perfectly placed to assist you with your property search.