Alfaz del Pi
What is happening in Benidorm these days? The whole town looks like a building site – and one I have to enter every day to get to my business.
Benidorm’s a motorists’ headache on the best of days, a driver’s hell in summer and, since last week, and absolute nightmare for those of us behind the wheel.
I’ll admit there’s not ‘good time’ to carry out roadworks. Summer is obviously the worst possible time, but going on past records, it never seemed to bother the local council in the past. The same applies for the Easter holidays and the Christmas period.
But given that you have nine months to spread-out your road works schedule, I’m pretty sure you could do much better that the current absolute chaos in Benidorm’s roads that appear to be nearly all under some sort of repair or major overhaul.
Avenida Mediterraneo is Benidorm’s ‘main strip’. It’s also the entering point to the top shops on Calle Gambo, the town hall at the end of Parque L’Aigüera and it’s the dual carriageway that leads from the centre to the Rincón de Loix hotels and holiday apartments. This road transformed Benidorm in the 1970s and has become a vital organ for the town. So if you’re going to operate on it surely you should do so with care.
When politicians sell us these ‘improvements’, they all say the same: “We’ll try to cause the least inconvenience possible to residents and holidaymakers.” – Well someone’s made a right mess-up on Benidorm.
Both far ends of Avenida Mediterraneo are now cut-off because of roadworks. In the centre, Plaza de la Hispanidad (Triangular) is ground zero so when you reach it your only way out is back or a huge diversion to get to L’Aigüera. Calle Gambo is off-limits to traffic, so is the local library and getting to the town hall is a gamble.
On the opposite side of the avenue we hit the roadworks on Avenida Ametlla de Mar – the Rincón de Loix main artery. Again, traffic hits a dead-end if you wish to go to Mercaloix indoor market or any hotels in the vicinity. It’s a good job (really) that the Benidorm TV series is no longer being shot because actor would find it difficult to get to the set at Hotel Ocas and Pelicanos (La Solana).
All us shop and restaurant owners are up in arms. Low season as it is, there is still plenty of income from winter tourists – but it’s hardly likely any can see or in some cases even get to your shop if there’s a construction barrier erected in front of it.
So Benidorm’s vital traffic organ is severed at both ends. Meanwhile the Rincón de Loix main road is been reduce from three lanes (two in one direction and in the other) to one-lane only. So you can forget leaving Benidorm from that end. Of course, there is a detour that implies driving along the very narrow Calle Estocolmo with parking allowed on both sides and constantly stuck with coaches off-loading hotel and apartment guests.
The other main Benidorm road, Avenida Europa linking the former N-332 to Avenida Mediterraneo, also has all its pavements under the digger – so the appearance of Benidorm as you enter and now drive through is that the entire town is ‘under construction’.
‘Sorry for the inconvenience’ – sorry for not believing that! If not you would have rescheduled the work to allow ‘less inconvenience’ or at least ‘not all the inconvenience at the same time’.
The other classic slogan under these circumstances is ‘We are working to improve’. Please allow me to differ. When the current road works are finish, there will be wide pavements, but only one-lane of traffic and in some areas even that will be restricted. This would be music to our ears if we had a decent public transport system or taxis that weren’t priced as limos.
So sorry Benidorm council, but you’ve got it all wrong. And I don’t suppose anyone is even paused to give a thought to the hundreds of businesses and its employees that will suffer as a result of these. More and more customers for the big shopping centre in Finestrat (so even the town hall will be losing out on this one) and more unemployment in Benidorm. And there’s not even been a mention of compensation or even a tax rebate for us.
At this rate instead of using a crash helmet on the bike to get into Benidorm I’ll needing a building site hardhat
(don’t want to get taxed twice for speaking my mind)