THE committee set up to defend the train service and the association of train users called on Balearic leader Jaume Matas to restore the Inca-Manacor as soon as possible. They were received by Matas at the Consolat de Mar yesterday.
The service was suspended on March 14, after a train was derailed just outside Petra, sending 13 people to hospital.
According to committee spokesman Joan Matamales, Matas had been predisposed to speed up the reopening of the line, but he did not give a date, which the committee found disappointing.
Mabel Cabrer, the Balearic minister of public works, housing and transport, has said the line will not be reopened for another six months, and says it will not be reopened until she is fully satisfied that there is no more danger. The March derailment occurred when part of an embankment fell on to the lines.
However, defenders of the train service, quoting a report compiled by the environmental group GOB, claim that part of the servicce as far as Sineu could be resumed within a maximum of ten days, while repair work could be carried out on the rest of the line.
Guillem Ramis, spokesman of the train users association, said that Matas had been more interested in improving road safety in the Balearics. Ramis said that there would not be so many traffic accidents if alternative transport, such as the train, existed.
Both groups concurred that all that was left to do was take action and they have announced that there will be another demo which will be held at the Manacor station on Saturday, May 8.
They will be demanding that service be resumed, and that the line be extended to Sant Llorenç, Artà, Son Servera and Capdepera.
The protest will start at 7pm and will be held three days before the first anniversary of the start of the Manacor service.
Some 20'000 people a month used the Manacor to Inca train, and although there is an alternative bus service, the fare is much higher.
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