Ma­rina Alta val­leys left off trans­port grid

Hin­ter­land vil­lages be­yond Pego com­plain of 'iso­la­tion' as re­gional gov­ern­ment bus route plan fails to in­clude links for 1,700 res­i­dents

Costa Blanca News (North Edition) - - NEWS -

RES­I­DENTS in the val­leys be­hind Pego have ap­pealed against trans­port route plans drawn up by the re­gional gov­ern­ment as, once again, they have been left out in the cold.

Over 1,700 peo­ple live in the Vall de Gallinera, Vall d'Al­calà, Vall d'Ebo and L'Atzúvia and Forna, but buses will serve only three of the vil­lages three days a week.

None of th­ese trav­els to­wards Dé­nia or the coast, but in­stead links them up with the Al­coy district – even though they be­long to the Ma­rina Alta and this is where their health ser­vices and schools are based.

The 232 in­hab­i­tants in the Vall d'Ebo will have no buses at all, whilst the 168 in the Vall d'Al­calà, the 594 in the Vall de Gallinera and the 664 in L'Atzúvia and its tied ham­let of Forna will only have pub­lic trans­port three days a week.

Vil­lage coun­cils are call­ing for a bus ser­vice that cov­ers all of th­ese and con­nects them to Pego, from which res­i­dents can then take links to Dé­nia and be­yond if re­quired.

Mayor of the Vall d'Al­calà Pablo Martínez slams the 'third-world sit­u­a­tion' the val­leys re­main in – a sit­u­a­tion which has led to a pro­longed ex­o­dus of res­i­dents of work­ing and child-bear­ing age and threat­ens to wipe out the pop­u­la­tion en­tirely.

Not only that, but the val­leys are full of tourism po­ten­tial for vis­i­tors who want to avoid the crowds and breathe in fresh, moun­tain air, as well as ex­pe­ri­enc­ing proper ru­ral Span­ish life.

And for this to work, hol­i­day­mak­ers need pub­lic trans­port to and from the coast and larger towns with air­port links.

The re­gional gov­ern­ment's trans­port route map shows that fu­ture buses will ter­mi­nate in Pego and, al­though the Vall de Laguar is cov­ered, the other val­leys, L'Atzúvia and Forna, and Castell de Castells are left off the grid.

Val­ley res­i­dents have long com­plained of be­ing iso­lated with few or no fa­cil­i­ties within reach and per­sis­tently be­ing ig­nored by higher au­thor­i­ties.

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