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Ronda rail threat – update PDF
Friday, 02 March 2012 19:00
 

Shock! Horror! The Partido Popular did not turn up!  Here are my brief personal notes on last night’s debate about the proposed freight rail route through Ronda.

Yes, the most significant thing was that the PP representative did not turn up! A chair stood vacant as a symbolic gesture, but it was left to the Silvema ecologist Juan Terroba and IU deputy and economist José Antonio Pendón to present their thoughts before the debate was opened up to questions.

In my view the main thing to come out of the meeting is that the new Spanish government's support for a route along the coast is NOT instead of the route through Ronda but IN ADDITION, which is as it was reported in El País recently. Not good news for those of us who are against the proposals. The optimistic Olive Press coverage last week was clearly wishful thinking and wrong.

However, it was clear from both speakers that the routes through Ronda or through the Llano de la Cruz valley are not viable for various reasons:


a) They're a nonsense from nearly every point of view - environmental, social, practical, economic and on the basis of cost.

b) The stretch from Ronda/La Indiana to San Pablo de Buceite cannot be further upgraded to meet the criteria for rail lines "de altas prestaciones", ie double width, electrified, mixed-use track and offering speeds of 220 kph. This means that FerrMed/the EU/the paymasters would have to accept that slow and congested stretch (and where, by the way, are they going to put the estimated 20 trains an hour while they wait for other trains to pass on the single track that runs for most of this stretch through the Guadiaro valley?)

c) Putting the line underground in Ronda is way too expensive (50m € per km). Putting it over ground is unacceptable environmentally and socially.

Sr Pendón commented that despite all these arguments against the route he thinks it will happen - one day - simply because big business wants it! Let's hope he's not right.

Points for hope:

1. The government cannot ignore all the alegaciones that have been presented - they have to respond to them all by law – and there have been many.

2. Of the five Corredor Mediterráneo routes in Spain only two attract European funding (20%). The nominated two include the Antequera – Ronda – Algeciras option. Whether the new government's declared preference for the coastal route might get this changed wasn't addressed. Even so, where is the rest of the money going to come from in recession-torn Spain?

3. The ecologists have successfully fought off other major civil engineering projects in the Guadiaro valley in recent years.

This issue is clearly going to run and run. We need to keep our eyes open.

And I’d still like to know why the PP didn’t turn up?

© Paul Whitelock
 

See also:

High-speed rail route through Ronda shelved?

 

Tags: Ronda rail threat, corredor mediterraneo, ronda high speed train, ronda train controversy, CorrMed, high speed freight rail line, Llano de la Cruz, Guadiaro valley, Izquierda Unida, Silvema, environmental protection group, Serranía de Ronda, Partido Popular, Juan Terroba, José Antonio Pendón, FerrMed, paul whitelock, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , www.a1-solutions-spain.com

 

Comments 

 
0 #1 2012-04-16 16:15
"The optimistic Olive Press coverage last week was clearly wishful thinking and wrong."

I see the owner of the Olive Press, Jon Clarke, is selling his place in Arriate (La Alcantarilla) now the new line is coming. Coincidence?
Quote
 

Paul Whitelock

Paul is a Joint Honours graduate in Spanish and German, a qualified teacher (PGCE) and has a Member of the Institute of Linguists (MIL) qualification.

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