A RONDA ramblers association is suing the town hall over a series of blocked footpaths.
The hiking group Pasos Largos has filed three denuncias demanding that the environment department reopen the paths.
The move comes just days after the association helped to organise a 1,500 strong protest against the closure of the GR7 footpath at the planned golf course development Los Merinos.
Despite Ronda town hall giving developers permission to close the path – which is the most important in Andalucia, stretching from Spain to Greece – the Junta has insisted it MUST remain open.
Ignacio Trillo, environment boss for Malaga province, said ‘The track, which is part of a global net linking Tarifa with Athens, should be preserved by the Ronda town hall.’
While promoters temporarily opened the path for the protest last Sunday, insisting a compromise had been reached, as our front page photos show it stays firmly shut with all signs of the path completely erased.
The move comes at a time when numerous paths around the Ronda area have been blocked. As well as the ancient Arriate to El Burgo footpath, which is shut at the cortijo Los Aguilares, there are many other public paths currently impassable.
On the popular path from the Pilar de Coco, near Ronda to Puente de la Ventilla signs have been either removed or so badly defaced that they are impossible to follow.
Pasos Largos believes it is not acceptable that an area renowned for its nature has so many public paths blocked.
The association has filed three separate denuncias in an attempt to make the town hall accountable. The first is against the blockage of the Camino de Alpandeire, listed as footpath number 2 in the official Ronda network. It says the 1.3km path has been blocked by improvements of the A369 to Algeciras as well as a padlocked gate.
Another footpath, the Callejon de Molinillo has been blocked next to the Sijuela stream, while a third, the Callejon Huerta la Maria, is blocked by the Tajo del Abanico.
Have any of the local footpaths been blocked near you. Please email us with the details,
All efforts to protect footpaths against the negligence of the elected authorities are to be supported. This in Ronda seems to be blatant pandering to developers and at least Junta has come down on the right side at the moment. However the words of the Junta are often empty so watch this space.
The walking industry in Andalucia is one facet of a total tourism industry and any infrastructure associated with it such as a path or bridge needs to be protected and maintained equally as should a road to a Golf course.
Town halls, diputaciones and the Medio Ambiente de la Junta de Andalucia often blow their trumpets at the inauguration of a new pathway PR or GR so they should realise the importance of them and Allocate maintenance money annually for those created in the past and not simply look for grant money for new projects.