29 Aug, 2023 @ 10:00
1 min read

Pedal power as cyclists protest over cycle routes being removed in Costa Blanca city in Spain

Pedal power as cyclists demand why eco-friendly cycle routes are being removed across Costa Blanca city in Spain

DOZENS of cyclists temporarily blocked the removal of a second cycle lane in Elche ordered by the new Partido Popular-Vox council.

Workers were preparing to scrub-out painted cycle way markings on Calle Jose Maria Buck on Monday but were forced to call the police due to the protestors.

UNSCHEDULED BREAK(Compromis image)

Last week €38,000 of public money was spent dismantling a cycle lane on Avenida Carlos I.

It was part of a government deal struck between the PP and Vox in June to take over Elche council from the previous PSOE-Compromis administration.

Mobility councillor, Claudio Guilabert, said that the decision was justified because of safety issues and traffic jams caused by that lane and quoted an Elche Policia Local report which said ten accidents with minor injuries had took place on cycle way since January 2022.

For the reversal on Calle Jose Maria Buck, the police said that car parking next to the cycle lane ‘represented a potential danger to cyclists due to doors being opened by parked cars’.

Work continued on another section of the road, as protestors led by former mobility councillor, Esther Diaz, said the work ‘had not been signposted’ and that ‘no alternative’ route had been offered as required under Elche laws.

Protestors however left peacefully with Diaz stating that there is ‘no objective criterium as to why cycle lanes are being dismantled in Elche’.

The Jose Maria Buck work will be completed by the end of the week.

Elche council has flagged up Calle Mariano Soler Olmos as reversal target but since it was paid for by a European Union grant, the cycle way’s removal would necessitate sending a refund to Brussels.

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