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Back in the spotlight: Tenerife’s roads and north-south rail project 

PAGE 2 TENERIFE

Tenerife’s roads and traffic congestion are back in the news again amid reports that the controversial north to south train project might be back on.

It is being reported that the Board of Directors of Metrotenerife (MTSA) has approved a majority call to reopen drafting for the multi-million euro project.

Reports in the Spanish press say MTSA has allocated 3.6 million euros to look again at several sections, including a number of false tunnels.

The money includes an amount for the updating of the environmental study into the possible impact of the train and 400,000 euros for the Transport Interchange for Tenerife Sur Airport.

No official statement has come from Tenerife Cabildo but the authority has recently put mobility back on the agenda and is once again encouraging people to use local transport or car share. MetroTenerife recently revealed that Tenerife surpasses the Spanish average in terms of number of vehicles per inhabitant.

For every two people, there is a vehicle. In addition, of every ten vehicles that circulate early in the morning in the direction of Santa Cruz-La Laguna on the TF-5 (northern motorway), only one goes with two people.

President Carlos Alonso says that, from the Cabildo, “we are committed, with all our forces and resources available, to solve the problems of mobility on the island.” In this sense, several measures have been activated in the last years, among which are “the improvement of links and access to motorways and a powerful investment of more than 60 million to fix the asphalt of the roads of the whole island”.

Sr. Alonso recalled that to these, are added other actions planned, “such as the impro-vement of the north highway with the Bus-VAO lane project and the south highway with a third lane between the airport and the tourist area.” At the same time, the Cabildo continues insisting on the need to reorient the schedules at the University of La Laguna and the redistribution of cargo in hospitals, as a measure to relieve traffic.

Meantime, the business association CEST is calling for action and says the expansion of the south highway has to be one of the priorities.

They are calling on the Canary Islands Government to sign the new road agre-ement with the central go-vernment.

“Tenerife deserves a greater investment effort compared to other islands that in the last decades have benefited from a greater amount of resources to complete or improve their road network,” said CEST presi-dent, Roberto Ucelay.