The president of the Provincial Federation of Construction Entities (Fepeco) in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Óscar Izquierdo, affirms that “Finishing the queues of the TF-5 must be the number 1 priority” both for the Cabildo de Tenerife and for the Canary Islands Government. The situation of the North highway “strangles the economy of this part of the island and contributes to its depopulation, since many citizens go to live in other places fleeing traffic jams. There is internal emigration from the North to the metropolitan area simply to avoid these queues. Young people and families with children are leaving due to poor connectivity and lack of job opportunities », she warns.
For Izquierdo, “the North has a structural problem that is the TF-5, the result of non-compliance by all the parties. The North is Tenerife’s unfinished business, and yet it has been repeatedly forgotten by this and previous governments. In the case of this island, the phrase would have to be changed to denounce that the North also exists».
The president of the construction employers’ association is clear that «Tenerife is an unbalanced island because all eyes have only been directed at promoting the South and its infrastructures. What we have underway is the closure of the insular ring to the south and works such as Las Chafiras-Oroteanda. And in the North, nothing; despite the fact that the mobility problem there is dramatic. We can openly speak of generations that have been born and have died with tails. And that is very severe”.
Óscar Izquierdo points out that The key to the problem is that the population and the mobile fleet in the North of Tenerife have experienced exponential growth in the past years, «but the region still has the same road structure as 40 years ago. All the rulers have washed their faces paving the same insufficient highway over and over again. Exactly the same, while the investment has focused on the metropolitan area and the South».
«For electoral interests, all the parties have contributed to unbalancing Tenerife. We have a poorly communicated and totally disorganized island, where the North takes the worst part. The weight of investment and the execution of public works has been unbalanced towards the South and the North has been abandoned”, laments Izquierdo.
For the president of Fepecothe work on the third lane of the TF-5, between La Orotava and Los Rodeos airport, is “very urgent”, since the La Laguna bypass, «although it will be a relief, it will not be the solution to the queues between the North and the metropolitan area. That solution is the third rail, which should have been built 25 years ago and is still a promise. Because there is not even a project drafted yet ».
From the employers of the construction they also regret that the outer road of La lagoon Santa Cruz was not executed 20 years ago “because all the La Laguna parties refused.” Izquierdo also regrets that “the mayors of the North”, current and past, “have not wanted or been able to impose themselves on the island and regional leaders to put an end to this investment imbalance. Tenerife sinks in the North. The situation is unbearable and alarming. The daily traffic jams affect the quality of life, depopulation and also the devaluation of properties».
“He wins and loses elections”
The president of Alisios Norte, Ivan Rodriguez of Azero, regrets that regarding the TF-5 “we are now the same as we were 3 or 15 years ago” because “the problem is very serious, the concern is tremendous and people are in very high spirits because the quality of life suffers. You can’t spend 4 hours a day in traffic jams. We know that the solution is complex, but no progress is being made, perhaps due to a lack of political courage or, hopefully not, due to a lack of interest in the North. What we do have clear is that elections are won and lost in the TF-5. The third rail will take years, but urgent action needed regarding public transport, free parking, changes in the schedules of the UL and of the reference hospitals». Rodríguez de Azero hopes that online classes will be encouraged and that “a cultural change will be promoted, since 85% of the cars go with a single passenger.” For Alisios Norte it is “inadmissible” that “we continue after 20 years kicking the ball.” In his opinion, the situation would improve with changes in schedules at the ULL, “almost free” public transport, consultations at hospitals “not at 8:00 but at 12:00”, and decentralized analytics. “We are desperate and this cannot be endured. Today we have a meeting to step up and push. The weariness is widespread and people want to mobilize, “Rodríguez warns.
For North Tagoror it is “unfortunate”
The Tagoror Norte collective considers “the Cabildo’s response to the serious traffic situation in the North regrettable”, and stresses that “responding by postponing the solution and diverting attention to another administration is simply painful.” For this group, chaired by former Ramblera socialist mayor Fidela Velázquez, “the North needs immediate responses without delay or excuses, and those responses must be based on diagnoses and planning; issues that have so far been conspicuous by their absence. This association affirms that “the increase estimated by the Cabildo of 28,000 cars heading south, and the equivalents on the way back, are already taking place and it is not the response to the collapse of the TF-5, but anticipates a collapse that will be total, from La Laguna to Buenavista, due to the strangulation of the old C-820». Velázquez recalls that «it already happens relatively frequently, due to accidents, landslides or weather problems. There are bottlenecks that have not been resolved and there are still sections that do not even have a project. The only action, painful and very damaging, has been to isolate municipalities in the North, including homes and businesses, to try to make this section of the TF-5 a fast track, which it is not, because in reality it is a journey as you recognize Arriaga himself. North Tagoror is alarmed by the declaration of incapacity of the insular head of Roads, “which diverts attention to the Canarian Government, which until now has not shown any interest in the North either.” For this reason, this recently created association requests “dialogue and urgent coordination between both institutions, or that they declare themselves definitively incapable of solving the problems of the North and resort to the State Government.” They add that “in the absence of roads, work could be done to stagger journeys, achieve more frequent and cheaper public transport, generate jobchange schedules, finish the hospital and decentralize offices».