Thursday, February 12, 2009

A fight to the end

The City council of Orihuela say they will exhaust all possible routes, even going to the European Union, to ensure that the track of the high speed train (AVE ) is laid underground.

The councillor for Urbanism, Antonio Rodríguez Barberá has strongly criticised the decision of the Ministry of Public Works and the Economy to impose the route of the AVE through the city without dialogue. Furthermore the Ministry has started a file of expropriations of land, which they approved without responding to the allegations of those that are affected.

Rodríguez Barberá says that the work to construct the route of the AVE above ground will cause a great deal of damage and disruption to the city with the temporary closure of roads which he says will strangle traffic. Barberá estimates that the cost of extra policing alone whilst the work is in progress will cost the city 2 million euros. More important he points out that emergency routes for the police will be closed which could have serious consequences particularly on market days.

I think it is fair to say that most people in the Vega Baja would say that the AVE is a red herring as far as this region is concerned; an imposition that they could well do without. They would argue that a railway of 'high benefit' would be better than a railway of 'high speed'.

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