The partial blockage of the intersection of the National Road (EN) 125 to Santa Rita has worsened road safety in the area and it is necessary to “immediately reverse” the situation, warned today the mayor of Vila Real de Santo António.
Álvaro Araújo told the Lusa news agency that the placement of cement blocks and pins at the intersection of the EN125 to the towns of Santa Rita and Fábrica, in the parish of Vila Nova de Cacela, was done “unilaterally” by the sub-concessionaire of the road, Rotas of the Algarve Litoral (RAL).
The mayor (PS) demanded an “urgent intervention” to reverse the situation, until a roundabout was built on the spot, as foreseen in the plans for requalification of the road, adding that the current solution, implemented last week by the RAL, is preventing the access to one of the main tourist complexes in the area, Robinson Quinta da Ria.
“Contrary to what would be expected, it did not solve the serious problem [of road safety] that existed and was identified years ago, but rather aggravated the dangerous situation, spurring the feelings of users and the population”, lamented the president of the autarchy of district of Faro.
Asked by Lusa about the intervention carried out at that point, Infraestruturas de Portugal (IP) replied that “the aforementioned changes were implemented by the sub-concessionaire Rotas do Algarve Litoral, the entity responsible for managing the EN125”, and had as its “objective to reinforce road safety on site".
The same source assured that the changes introduced to circulation “meet the request of local authorities who warned of the need for a quick intervention at the intersection in question”.
Álvaro Araújo acknowledged having requested, in January, an urgent intervention on the site, with the construction of the roundabout foreseen in the projects for the requalification of the EN125, but rejected the “unilateral” solution adopted last week by the sub-concessionaire, guaranteeing that the municipality was not even consulted on the implemented measure.
In order to revert the intervention, the municipality indicated to the sub-concessionaire and IP its availability, with the support of the managing company of Robinson Quinta da Ria, to finance a provisional alternative, such as the placement of vertical signs, speed bumps, chromatic bands or traffic lights that limit at speed, until the construction of a roundabout.
The provisional placement of bands or speed bumps that force motorists to reduce speed at the intersection is also defended by the Commission for Users of Estrada Nacional 125 – Sotavento.
Hugo Pena, from the User Commission, explained to Lusa that the implemented solution blocks the entrance to the EN125 to Santa Rita, for those coming from Tavira, and the exit from that location towards Vila Real de Santo António.
On the other side of the intersection, anyone leaving the Fábrica or the tourist complex is prevented from turning towards Tavira, and access is also blocked for anyone intending to enter the intersection coming from Vila Real de Santo António.
Motorists who intend to make these movements are now obliged to travel more than five kilometers until they find a roundabout to reverse gear, but they are “making this reversal on the road, right after leaving the intersection, increasing the risks”, concluded Hugo Pity.
Precisely to discuss this issue, the mayor of Vila Real de Santo António met this Saturday with the population and companies of Santa Rita, Nora and Fábrica and undertook to present to the EN 125 concessionaire and the Secretary of State of Infrastructures a set of alternative solutions to the closure of part of the accesses at the intersection of Santa Rita (parish of Vila Nova de Cacela).
The meeting, held at the Parish Council of Vila Nova de Cacela, brought together half a hundred people and was also attended by the councilor of the VRSA municipality in charge of traffic, Álvaro Leal, and the president of the Parish Council of Vila Nova by Cacela, Luís Rodrigues.
The mayor Álvaro Araújo had already been, on Friday, to the place, with the population that demonstrated against the changes introduced in traffic.