Protest About A-48 Route in Tarifa



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The declarations begin about the plan for the Motorway A-48.

The Black Stork Orthological Group (Colectivo Ornitologico Cigüeña Negra) has the declarations on its website for all of those who would like to join the protest, http://cocn.tarifainfo.com . The organization is asking for a time extension for the approval of the project of the motorway in 30 days, for time to elaborate new studies and present new information.

The Euro MP for the Green Party, David Hammerstein, dismisses the new motorway project as an “atrocity” and “nonsense” at the time he defines it as “unnecessary; in an act celebrated in the Headquarters of the Black Stork Orthological Group (COCN). He also criticized the “minimal amount of information” that this project has produced in its favour.

The countdown has now started to halt one of the “worst atrocities that the natural environment and the two National Parks in Tarifa could possibly suffer from”. This is how the situation has been defined by groups such as the Black Stork Orthological Group (COCN) and the Association for the southern point (Asociación Punta del Sur) amongst others, contrary to the outline for the new motorway that has been drawn up by the Development Ministry.

Today, Wednesday 19th July 2006 they have started the collection of signatures and the presentation of declarations against this plan. In this act the Euro MP has protested that this work is an “atrocity”, and has reminded us that 70-80% of this work is financed by the European Union, for which he will also be working to apply some common sense, and to ensure that this plan is not approved. For Hammerstein, this work is unnecessary, and he questions the study that was carried out which calculated the environmental impact of this project, which he describes as “ very weak ”, just like the study that showed the necessity for this motorway. In this sense it is necessary to point out that the COCN has criticised this study which proved that this new motorway was necessary as it was carried out a few years ago, when the A-381 that joined Los Barrios and Jerez was not in operation; which evidently caused a build up of traffic on the stretch of the 340 between Algeciras and Vejer.

Hammerstein emphasized that the information in the study was frivolous and stated that the European Union was against this nonsense, as well as the plan for the A-48. He protested that “ we have to save this area from the mass of cement that they want to build ”, reminding us that the visual and environmental impact of this roadwork would contaminate the nearby areas. Finally Hammerstein criticized the Tarifa Council for not being present, given that it is a situation that could have a negative impact on Tarifa.

Declarations

The statements against the plan for the A-48 are based, according to the COCN on the deficiencies and the information used in the creation of the informative study and in the Environmental Impact study which impede the approval from the Ministry of Development.

Amongst the conclusions highlighted, they emphasize the following points:

In the study, they claim that the information on used traffic was captured before 2003, which does not take into account the A-381, which has absorbed a large amount of the heavy traffic from that road. Unequal treatment in the expropriation and compensation.

Regarding the study that focuses on the Environmental Impact, according to the declarations it does not present alternative proposals to minimize the damage that this project will bring to the fauna in the area. This undervalues the environmental factors in Tarifa and the two Nature Parks (Parque Natural del Estrecho and Parque Natural de los Alcornocales) as well as the region of la Janda.

Due to this, according to the Habitats Directive (given that this is one of the protected areas that belongs to the Nature Network 2000) this work can only be approved if it is urgent in the publicŽs interest, in this case there have been no such arguments to need the execution of this project.

Punta Sur and the COCN have called to all those who have been affected, residents of Tarifa, and visitors to the area so that they can argue against this project.

For those who have been affected they can also consult the information in the Headquarters of the Black Stork Orthological Group (COCN), located on the National Road 340, at kilometer 78.4. At the headquarters of this group, at the same time, they can view the photography expedition which will show images of the damage that could be caused by this motorway with 30 images donated by nature loving photographers.

In principal, the presentation of the statements will take place next Friday, even though, they hope they can extend it by 30 more days.

You can find more information at http://cocn.tarifainfo.com

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