Francisco LInares, mayor of La Orotava and insular general secretary of Canarian Coalition (DC), considers “brave and very necessary” the measures taken by the Tenerife Council in the last four monthsfrom the arrival of Rosa Davila to the insular presidency, to relieve queues at TF-5. Furthermore, he values that “they are not improvised” but rather the result of “a consensual action plan” with all the social and economic agents involved in a problem that has affected thousands of Tenerife residents every day for years.
Linares points out that “the design of the roadmap to develop the measures is based on the insular Highway Area. He adds that it is “the consequence of several work meetings that have been held with all the sectors involved in the mobility of Tenerife». He recalls that “the queues in the north have been a serious problem for more than thirty years.”
The mayor of Orotava reflects: «Solutions to problems do not come alone, they must be tested and evaluated; That is what the Cabildo of Tenerife is doing. He adds: “There will be time to know the results of said evaluation and based on that ratify or rectify the future measures that aim to alleviate the drama that the inhabitants of the North of the Island have been suffering for decades.”
The nationalist politician emphasizes regarding the provisional closure of the Guamasa link on the Northern Highway: “I support everything that involves testing and then verifying that these measures are effective or not.” He understands that “It is still early to issue a final verdict”. But he does say: «It is clear that the provisional measures that have been taken in Guamasa have substantially improved the traffic density of the TF-5; This is evident.”
But he appreciates that “it is not just about that measure because I believe that other complementary measures have been taken and they have also emptied the highway of cars and heavy transport.” He refers in this sense to the agreement with several companies to remove large-tonnage vehicles from peak hours, especially in the morning.
The town mayor emphasizes that “the Cabildo has to continue on the path of testing, evaluating and defining relief actions always with dialogue, consensus and generosity towards the citizens of Tenerife.”
“I have no doubt that if this is the case, the queues in the north will be alleviated,” says the mayor and therefore “there will be an improvement in the living conditions of thousands of people who make that journey every day.”
One of the successes has been, in his opinion, promoting shuttle buses to transport university students to the Guajara campus: «They are working very well, they are complementary in alleviating the number of vehicles that travel on the Northern Highway; “They are interesting and I would say essential.” The councilor reflects: «Public transport relieves stress and reduces the use of private and individualized vehicles. Plus, it’s now totally free. The number of bus users in Tenerife exceeds 50,000 people and that, at least, means about 10,000 fewer cars on the highway.
Linares emphasizes that “the accesses from La Orotava to the TF-5 have never been problematic, traffic flows normally, there have never been overloads or blocking problems for normal circulation; These begin from Santa Úrsula. He acknowledges that his municipality “had a black spot in the San Jerónimo Industrial Estate, we endured it for more than a decade, but the entrance and exit route was changed a couple of years ago and it was solved. “The rest of the roads operate normally with fluid traffic.”
Unquestionably, the definitive solution Linares adds “is a combination of everything. We must finish the pending works and the first thing is to put out to tender the Guamasa link and the bus-vao lane or third lane. In addition to “continuing to promote public transport and the Cabildo has made a significant economic effort by acquiring 200 new buses.” Another bet is to “diversify schedules because in Tenerife all trips cannot be made from 6 to 8 in the morning.” From entering class at the University to medical appointments at the HUC and in La Candelaria or access to jobs because, he explains, “that means that in this two-hour window an average of 20,000 cars travel from the North to the area.” Metropolitan every day; It is simply unsustainable. For this reason, he insists that the definitive solution “must involve a combination of good decisions that would favor alleviating the eternal queues.”
Francisco Linares assures that as a deputy for Tenerife and mayor of the municipality that occupies 70% of the National Park “Tenerfean society must know the Mobility Plan included in the Master Plan for Use and Management (PRUG).” In said Plan, he assesses, “it seems, because no one has seen it yet, that parking areas and the construction of three buildings for shuttles, three cement eyesores within the perimeter are included.” He confirms that “residents in Tenerife do not have to pay for parking, since with taxes we already maintain the Park’s expenses annually, through the Cabildo.” He is committed to “regulation and that tourism pays for parking like we do when we travel anywhere in the world.”
Francisco Linares concludes: “I do not tell anecdotes or experiences in the queues that all the inhabitants of the north have not suffered in the last thirty years.”
Transportation on demand
La Orotava will have on-demand transportation throughout next year, just like Guía de Isora in the South. They will follow the recent path of the Agache region (Güímar, Fasnia and Arico) where it will be implemented at the beginning of 2024. This was announced by the president of the Cabildo, Rosa Dávila, after agreeing on the measure with the mayor of the northern municipality, Francisco Linares. The resource, which is mainly used by older people or people with mobility problems who live in the middle areas, has worked very well in Candelaria, where it was implemented in 2009 and in Los Realejos since its inauguration in 2011. In the first case, with the use combination of taxis and buses in six lines; In the northern town, the service is provided by adapted taxis on two routes. Always to connect with Titsa bus lines. La Orotava has a complicated orography, especially when accessing the midlands. | JDM