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The pace of work is steadily increasing on the site of the future secondary school on the Orihuela Costa, with a range of trucks, vans, diggers and work crews all appearing on a daily basis. Recent accusations that the building permit issued by the Orihuela council had been revoked were dismissed, as the validity of the license was confirmed by the planning department. Given that the main structural work had already been completed, it is still believed that the school may well be on schedule for completion before the next academic year.

The tender process for the award of running the beach-based Chirunguito bars expired this week, with the municipal council now tasked with awarding the contract to the most valuable bidder. The process this year was not without controversy however, as a local businessman filed a complaint challenging the process, believing it does not allow for free competition and was “tailored” to meet the needs of the current concessionaire. The councillor for the coast, Martina Scheurer, told The Leader that the process is fully legal and has met with approval of all the technicians and engineers involved, with the complaint surrounding the fact that the contract requirements are all based on having the correct quality and customer care accreditations to qualify the level of service required on the beach bars.

Plans are now being made for events to take place on the beaches of Orihuela throughout the summer. These plans have to be made earlier than before after the coastal department require a longer period of notice for applications to consider and approve such events. The Triathlon event is set to return in the middle of May after the success of the first time it took place on the beach last year. Various sports initiatives are in the pipeline arranged through the department of sports and the municipal sports centre, which may well include that annual and very popular beach volleyball competition, but one of the most exciting events which the town hall are hoping to bring to the coast this year is a scaled down version of the annual Moors and Christians parades which take place across Spain.

The weekly Thursday market on the Orihuela Costa will shortly move to its new home, albeit only a short distance away from its current location. Engineers will be on the site this week, mapping out the new plots for the stalls, which will move across the roundabout near the health centre to a road which is wider than its current home, thus giving more space to the facility, but the new location will also improve the environmental condition of the coast. With the current location on the edge of the cliff top, it is inevitable that some waste and rubbish falls over the edge and down the side, as well as the fact that many people simply throw rubbish from the top, but as this is one of the environmentally protected micro reserves of the Orihuela Costa, the importance of keeping the area clean is vital. Given the access problems form the top, specialist cleaners with harnesses and climbing training have to be employed to clean that area, so it is hoped that the new site will prove less burdensome to the protected green area.

The footbridge over the N-332 at La Regia was successfully installed last week, and the site is on schedule to be officially handed back to the town hall on the 7th of March. The bridge will then be formally opened a few days later, after a long awaited legacy first unanimously approved under the rule of the Partido Popular government, has finally been realised.

The temporary roundabout at the access and egress to the unfinished emergency coordination centre, which is designed to improve traffic flow at the N332 La Zenia roundabout, will soon be completed, with engineers visiting to re-asses the site this week. Meanwhile, the councillor for the coast, Martina Scheurer, has arranged a meeting with the senior management of the Consum supermarket chain, to discuss what role they might be able to play in improving the situation further. The plan to change the road which surrounds the Consum carpark and making the access on the road near the taxi rank one way will start soon.

Similarly, the engineers will be assessing the two proposed locations of new bus stops on the N332 at La Zenia, one which will be placed near the white church on the Torrevieja bound carriageway, the other, in the Cartagena direction, near to the taxi rank. At the same time, the town hall are looking to try and dedicate some of the ground adjacent to the Cartagena stop which could become additional free parking places to increase the volume of parking in the area.

The on-line survey of bus users has now come to a close, with the town hall shortly receiving the data collected, allowing them to see what suggestions have been made to improve public transport around the coastal area. This costly facility is oversubscribed for the two summer months, but then hardly used to its full capacity for the rest of the year. Another service which is provided and paid for by municipal funds is the direct bus that runs from the coast and Entre Narajos to Orihuela city, a service which barely carries any passengers, and might be put to better use, depending on the findings of the survey. The survey was initiated to see what changes to the service might encourage more users to travel on the bus network. In conjunction with the public survey, the bus operator has also been examining the timetables, in order to see if any improvements can be made to reduce the “lag” that occurs as the day continues.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/42737/

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