Autostrade per l'Italia earmarks 250 mln euros for toll refunds

MILAN, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Autostrade per l’Italia, which manages more than 3,000 km of roads in Italy, has earmarked 250 million euros ($296 million) over five years to refund travellers disrupted by maintenance work, Chief Executive Roberto Tomasi said on Tuesday.

The company, which is currently 88% owned by Italian infrastructure group Atlantia, is due to return to government control next year when the sale to a consortium of state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, Macquerie and Blackstone will become effective.

Autostrade will launch on Wednesday an app dubbed Free-to-X allowing its customers to ask for a toll reimbursement in the event road works cause significant delays, Tomasi said.

The initiative is part of a charm offensive by the company after it was criticised by travellers following an increase in road works since 2020.

Following the 2018 deadly collapse of a motorway bridge it managed in the port city of Genoa, Autostrade pledged to spend up to 7 billion euros on investments and maintenance of its network between 2020 and 2023.

Tomasi said the company had already spent 77 million euros, out of the 250 million set aside until 2024, to cut tolls to compensate customers for delays.

$1 = 0.8460 euros Reporting by Francesca Landini Editing by Mark Potter