The Insular Minister of Mobility describes the extension of the light rail to the Tenerife North-City of La Laguna Airport as a “priority” as it is “a strategic infrastructure of the Island.” In addition, he considers that “he should have faced this work ten years ago when he stopped.” He gives an example: «Tens of thousands of vehicles will leave the roads when you eliminate the I take you to Los Rodeos from family or friends».
The leader of the orange formation makes it clear that “this project has nothing to do with the island’s mobility plans, even if they want to link it. Other initiatives are already underway and are very necessary for Tenerife ».
Arriaga assures that he does not understand “why the amount -60,000 euros- and the methodology of the citizen participation process that we have recovered in the last Metrotenerife Board of Directors are being questioned now if it was unanimously approved in March 2020.” He reiterates that “it is the same one that was stopped then by the pandemic.”
Those 60,000 euros are distributed in two lots. On the one hand, 25,000 will go to the preparation of the surveys and the rest, the bulk of the financing, will be dedicated to the public information process, the construction of an office in La Trinidad and another one traveling through the tram stops. Two awards from the same process, which have already been defined, and, says the vice president of the Cabildo, “for an amount less than the price of the tender.”
Within the survey process there will also be two ways. He explains it: “On the one hand, the route through the center of La Laguna in which the residents of the town will decide because it corresponds to them”; on the other, if it is necessary to expand to Los Rodeos and here, he stresses, “all citizens will participate.”
Regarding the binding status of the consultation, the counselor adds: «It has been said from the beginning but there are those who want to play. CC against or the PP without positioning itself ». He clarifies: “The study and consultation are important tools for decision-making in a consensual manner between La Laguna and Santa Cruz, that is, the Metropolitan Area, and the Cabildo.”
As for the possible route of the expansion, the orange leader insists: “Citizens reject the passage through December 6.” His bet is “Pablo Iglesias Street, wider and with fewer problems for businesses and residents.” Rate: “The La Trinidad stop does not disappear, an important communication node, even if you have to advance it a bit, at the corner of the health center.” “The stop at the old San Benito bus station” stands out. From there, the three options lead to Los Rodeos.
Arriaga analyzes what was stated these days about the expansion by the president of the Cabildo, Pedro Martín, and the mayor of La Laguna, Luis Yeray Gutiérrez. He underlines: «The president and the mayor have said what we have always agreed upon. We agree on the approach without contradiction, despite what some may claim.
The vice president of the Cabildo values that “the mayor has put the decision of the lagoons ahead and it seems logical to me.” He warns, however, that “there are not two or three who shout a lot but rather more people with something to say in this matter.” Arriaga criticizes those who “say that commerce like the Rambla de Pulido in Santa Cruz is going to be ruined, but our option does not affect the sector. Maybe something yes to the taxi, but I think there is an audience for each means of transport and the taxi has its specific clientele. It highlights the qualities of the tram: “The punctuality, the cost – for one euro you can go from Santa Cruz to Los Rodeos – or the short journeys.”
The coordinator of Citizens reflects: «There are those who already say that the citizen consultation will not be taken into account. I ask for a bit of seriousness because the minimum is to wait for it to be carried out ». He concludes: «This case is different from that of La Gallega, in the Southwest of Santa Cruz. There they wanted to reach a neighborhood that was opposed and the extension of Line 2 was paralyzed. In this case it is about communicating with a strategic infrastructure such as the airport and Tenerife cannot be left behind ”.
«Information and more information»
From four in the afternoon to ten at night, Enrique Arriaga had an intense afternoon session last Thursday, when he received seven neighborhood groups from La Laguna in his office at the Cabildo. The associations Casco Histórico, Camino la Villa, Padre Anchieta, Coromoto, San Lázaro, Tamarco –also of Camino la Villa– and Barrio Nuevo went through there. He has explained the benefits of the project to his representatives on a basis: “Information and more information.” From bringing the neighborhoods of the periphery closer to the lagoon center to connecting San Lázaro or overcoming the isolation beyond the bridge over the TF-5 of El Coromoto. He summarizes: «Just a ten-minute journey between Avenida de la Trinidad –the last stop on Line 1– and Los Rodeos.” JDM