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
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.