Another nail in cable car coffin

LAST UPDATED: 26 Oct, 2007 @ 13:56
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Government believes ecosystem of Sierra Nevada will be “irreversibly transformed”

PLANS to build the world’s longest cable car between Granada and the Sierra Nevada National Park have taken a major setback.

In a report, central Government claims the project will “irreversibly transform” the sensitive ecosystem of the protected mountain range, which is home to a quarter of Spain’s 8,000 native species of fauna and flora.

A spokesman for the Ministry of the Environment also expressed “surprise” that planning for the cable car, which will run 19 kilometres from the centre of Granada to the Pradollano ski resort, was so far advanced.

“This is an irregular project that has left many in the Government surprised. It serves private interests only and does not correspond with actual demand,” he added.

Although opponents are claiming victory, the consortium of developers behind the ambitious scheme remain convinced it will still go ahead.

“We will answer any concerns satisfactorily,” a spokesman for Sociedad Teleferico de Sierra Nevada said.

If built, the cable car will carry up to 3,600 passengers every hour to Europe’s most southerly ski resort, providing – its supporters claim – a greenhouse-gas free mode of transport.

As reported in issue 33 (Brussels to the rescue), the regional government also has reservations concerning the cable car, chiefly its viability and negative environmental impact.

The Olive Press also revealed Brussels will have a say whether the cable car will go ahead or not.

Besides the protection it enjoys as a national and natural park, the Sierra Nevada also falls under the jurisdiction of the European Union and world heritage group UNESCO.

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