A FORMER Ronda mayor has pleaded for a rethink on a freight train plan that would ruin the town’s key tourist valley.
Manuel Garcia Rubio insists the so-called Mediterranean Corridor should not be carved through the ‘magnificent’ Llano de la Cruz valley.
The former socialist mayor insists the area – that has half a dozen hotels and up to 40 rental homes – is vital for the economy and environment.
He said: “This plan would destroy this magnificent valley and anyone with a modicum of interest in the environment should oppose it,” he said.
“I really hope the techicians find another way to bring it through.”
His words come as the deadline passed to make public allegations against the project that could see up to 80 freight trains a day travel from Algeciras north via Ronda.
Over 500 people signed a petition to put the line in a tunnel and a number of organisations, including the IU party, Ecologistas en
Accion and SEO birdlife, have demanded changes.
Ronda’s current mayor Maripaz Fernandez also insists the line causes minimal damage and wants it to come via the town centre and stay on the existing line.
She insists Madrid agrees with this plan, although the Ministry of Public Works has not yet confirmed it would allow the line to be put underground in the town centre.
At a meeting with residents she was unable to say how many freight trains would run a day or how they would get up the famously windy, narrow stretch of line going past Arriate.
“That is up to the technicians to work out,” she said, adding: “We want it to cause minimal environmental damage and it is vital to protect the valley.”