Motorway discounts on the horizon
Heavy vehicles travelling on the AP-7 motorway from Peñíscola to Tarragona will have discounts in order to keep them from always travelling through the smaller roads, which have become traffic accident hotspots.
The measure, which was already being pushed by local governing teams in July, finally caught some attention on a national level, with minister Íñigo de la Serna confirming that the situation will be revised once the motorway's extended operation period comes to an end which, in the case of the AP-7, is in 2019.
Therefore, once the year 2019 arrives, heavy vehicles passing through the area will likely enjoy a discount of between 42 and 50%, and those which only travel from one village to the other will be able to do so for free.
Once heavy traffic shifts to the motorway from the smaller roads, accidents are expected to drop considerably and residents will be able to move around quicker. By Samantha Kett FRESH protests outside Gandia's Ausiàs March high school were on the curriculum for the first day of the autumn term and will take place one day a month until it gets its much-needed renovations.
The school, alongside the fountain roundabout near the old hospital on the Paseo, is old, cramped, in poor conditions and way too small.
Teachers, parents and pupils first staged a major demonstration 12 years ago, and kids who had just started there that year are now 24 – but still, no action has been taken.
Back then, they blocked traffic on the roundabout and hung a massive banner from the front of the building reading Açó cau! ('This is falling down!')
The PTA says it ' no longer has any confidence' that the regional government will do anything about their grim situation.
In Gandia alone, some 500 pupils are still taking classes in echoey portakabins which are baking in summer and freezing in winter, and most of the major works on schools promised for this year in the La Safor (Valencia province) district have been put off until later.
Further north, in the La Ribera district, works had in fact started on the primary school in Villanueva de Castellón, but only 2% of them have been done, according to mayor Óscar Noguera.
The regional government set aside a budget of €5.2 million, and the lowest-bidding building company came in at €3.9m.
But they had barely started the job when they announced they needed to increase their estimate, a request rejected by education authorities.
Now, the regional government has to rescind the contract and put the job out to bid again, meaning work will not start until at least next year or the following.
By contrast, a brand-new school opened for 'business' on Monday in Monserrat, also in La Ribera, after nine years of pressure from parents and teachers.
The Evarist Calatayud school's 665 pupils will be taking lessons in proper brickand-mortar classrooms rather than pre-fabricated buildings from now on, and guided tours for kids and their parents have been given of the state-of-the-art new premises.