Citizens denounce road being torn up Posto Agrário de Tavira, Chamber says that «there is no decision»

Ana Paula Martins ensures that what is under public consultation is a company proposal, not the plan itself

The Citizens' movement for CEAT and Hortas Urbanas de Tavira and Ecotopia Activa accuse the Chamber of having a mobility plan that envisages «raze gardens in downtown Tavira and tear a road in the Tavira Agricultural Experimentation Center (CEAT)", but Ana Paula Martins, president of the municipality, guarantees that there is no approved plan, just a proposal, made by a company, "which has not yet been validated", and the the executive’s willingness to listen to the population.

On Thursday, March 14th, the Chamber announced that "the public consultation process on the Sustainable Mobility Plan for the City of Tavira (PMSCT) was underway" and urged "all interested parties" to send contributions by March 21st. March, to the email [email protected].

This Friday, the 15th, the citizens' movement and the association went public to denounce that the document in question provides for the construction of a ring road to the south of the city, whose route is the same as that proposed around four years ago by Infraestruturas de Portugal , which motivated the creation of the Citizens movement by CEAT, who denounced and contested this intention.

The I.P. I really had to drop this work, which was part of the Algarve Line electrification project, with the aim of promoting the suppression of the level crossing next to the Tavira CP Station, following an unfavorable Environmental Impact Statement (DIA) from the Portuguese Environment Agency.

Now, the same route, between an existing roundabout south of Escola EB 2,3 D. Manuel and the Aldi roundabout, at the beginning of Rua de São Pedro, on the west side of the railway line, is proposed in the document which can be consulted on the City Council website.

In the company's plan proposal, it is argued that this new road “will definitively resolve the physical constraint of the level crossing next to the Tavira railway station, allowing the railway line to be crossed through an overpass, parallel to Rua Luís de Camões , and which allows the circulation of all eastbound traffic heading to educational establishments, the market, the center and the Ponte dos Descobrimentos».

Criticizing the short period of time that this consultation lasts, just one week, the Citizens for CEAT movement and Ecotopia Activa say that the plan, «which contains almost 100 pages, did not take into account what characterizes Tavira, its people, its strategic and development projects. In particular, it did not take into account the city's natural and historical heritage. CEAT (Tavira Agricultural Experimentation Center) represents and has been defended as a strategic project for the city and the region, as a privileged center for promoting the Mediterranean Diet (MD)».

«The richness and defense of CEAT's natural and cultural heritage is well expressed both in the aforementioned DIA and in the recently presented Mediterranean Diet Safeguarding Activity Plan 2023-27 (UAlg/CCDR Algarve). This Center is part of the strategy of the former Regional Directorate of Agriculture and Fisheries and the municipality of Tavira, as a place of identity for DM and as a hub of innovation», they argue.

The movement recalls that, «among others, it is planned to install at CEAT a DM Farm, a Skills Center/Interpretation of the Mediterranean Diet, experimentation/research fields, the Earth Museum and continue the work of recovering and preserving traditional varieties “forgotten” Mediterranean species in the region. Carrying out these activities will allow us to preserve biodiversity, value and transmit the Mediterranean lifestyle to future generations, demonstrate sustainable production methods and enhance the range of economic activities linked to the Mediterranean Diet».

Contacted by Sul Informação, president Ana Paula Martins rejects the criticism and highlights that what was put up for public consultation was a proposal presented by a company, as part of a service provision, and that the executive she leads decided to put it up for consideration by the population, «even it is not mandatory to do so", before approval in a Chamber Meeting.

This decision was taken «in the name of transparency» and in order to give the population the opportunity to make suggestions, which will then be «delivered to the company, so that a new proposal can be presented».

It will be based on this work that the Chamber will approve a first version of the plan, which will be placed in Public Consultation, as provided for in the law.

«From here, relevant contributions will be integrated and a final version will be approved, which will be submitted for approval to the Municipal Assembly», said Ana Paula Martins.

In other words, says the president of the Chamber, “there is no decision, nor any approved plan”.

Even so, he emphasizes that he "has no doubt" that, "one day, it may not be now, but one day", there will have to be a southern ring road to the city, with a crossing that allows the level crossing to be removed. of the station.

“Now whether it’s more south or more north, I don’t know,” he said.

Ana Paula Martins made a point of highlighting that what is under public consultation is the proposal of «a company specialized in mobility and what, for them, makes the most sense, in terms of improving mobility», but this does not mean that the Chamber see things the same way.

The Citizens for CEAT movement also agrees that there will have to be an alternative, proposing a route further south, «which avoids the dismantling of CEAT and maintains the objectives of increasing peripheral traffic circulation or creating a new railway level crossing».

Another criticism that the movement makes of this plan is the cutting and disfigurement of gardens in the city center, namely Alagoa and Corredoura, as well as the «transformation of the only large wasteland in the city, the fairgrounds and markets, in car parks, when the implementation of more qualified green areas should be promoted, due to the presence, in the surrounding area, of school and sports facilities».

Also questioned is the «cutting of the public garden of Bandstand to pass a traffic route» from the new bridge over Gilão, a work that will promote «increased pollution, insecurity and a decrease in the quality of public space, in the only space green space of considerable dimensions in the city».

In this case, Ana Paula Martins says that the Chamber will not accept the solution proposed by the company, opting instead to use Rua do Cais, next to the river, which will be closed to traffic «whenever initiatives take place», particularly during the summer period .

Also the two alternatives for installing an intermodal transport center, one of which «without pedestrian access» and the other at «CEAT, where Tavira's community gardens are currently located», are criticized by the movement, as well as the «waterproofing of areas floodplains of the city's downtown».

«It is imperative and crucial, given the complexity of the analysis of this Mobility Plan for the city of Tavira, its strategic importance and, respect for the active participation of citizens, that the public consultation is extended beyond the 21st of March», he argues the movement.



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