Toll free AP-7 vow confirmed
Valencia government has connections in high places
By Dave Jones PRESIDENT of the Valencia region Ximo Puig has met with the new minister for public works, José Luis Ábalos to ‘establish a working dynamic’ between the two administrations.
Both are now run by the Socialist party (PSOE), with Sr Ábalos hailing from the Valencia region – and Sr Puig (PSOE) ruling in coalition with the Compromís party.
After the meeting, Sr Puig announced that they had set up a joint commission which will bring together officials from the public works department and their counterparts in Valencia. This will allow regular meetings to be carried out ‘with the objective of improving transport and mobility’ and the capacity for businesses to compete, he added.
The new relationship will not mean favouring Valencia, but ‘treating the region fairly’.
Sr Puig assured that the national government has taken on board the wishes of Valencia over the so-called Mediterranean corridor – the train and freight axis which is supposed to link the east coast of Spain with the rest of Europe. And he noted that Sr Ábalos had reiterated his vow to make the AP-7 motorway toll free between Alicante city and Tarragona when the concession expires on the road at the end of next year.
Councillor for public works and housing, María José Salvador also attended the meeting, along with high ranking civil servants.
New junctions planned After the meeting Sra Salvador presented a study compiled by the regional government on improvements to access to the AP-7 which are needed ‘after it is made toll free’.
She noted that their report – drawn up by regional government civil servants with the help of council officers – has been handed to the ministry.
The proposal includes seven new junctions to reach the motorway and three improvement plans for existing roads.
Sra Salvador noted that the ministry is already working on the link road from the N-332 to the AP-7 at the south of Oliva ‘which will allow a new access point’ to the motorway.
This will act as a bypass and mean drivers do not have to pass through the town centre, she noted, ‘reducing congestion and contamination and improving road safety’. They have also asked for the N-332 between Gata and Pedreguer to be turned into a dual carriageway to improve traffic flow.
Sra Salvador’s department has also proposed the building of a link road between the AP-7 and the N-332 in Altea, Alfàs del Pi and La Nucía.
“As in Oliva, the section of the N-332 which passes through Altea is very congested and creates a lot of contamination, especially in the summer,” explained Sra Salvador. “Our solution would improve access to this area and allow the AP-7 to be used as a bypass for Altea.
“At the same time it would improve traffic flow and access to Alfàs del Pi and La Nucía.”
The regional government has estimated that their improvement plan would cost a total of €220 million. A car with fake number plates was found on Saturday (July 7) at around 14.30 in a street in Pinar de Campoverde by the local police. According to a Pilar de la Horadada town hall spokesman, the car had been stolen in May in Orihuela Costa. It was being driven by a youth aged under 18, who was arrested and charged with a crime of car theft. Additionally on Tuesday (July 10) at 03.45 a teenager was arrested following a burglary at premises in Torre de la Horadada.
Ximo Puig (centre right) with José Luis Ábalos on his left