THOUSANDS of people demonstrating against the project to build a motorway between Inca and Sa Pobla, joined hands in Campanet on Sunday to form a human chain some three kilometres long. The organisers confirmed that the act of solidarity was to demand the withdrawal of the project which is part of the highways development programme, an agreement signed between the Balearic government and the central government Ministry of Public Works. Promoted by the lobby calling itself “Yes to the road-widening but No to the dual carriageway”, the human chain began to line up about 9.30am from outside the glass factory in Campanet, situated at the 36 kilometre mark on the Palma to Alcudia road, and stretched as far as the Ses Coves and Sa Pobla crossroads. Participants had rallied in readiness for the manoeuvre in the town square about 9am.
Demonstrators carried placards and waved banners with anti-dual carriageway slogans.
The lobby had previously gathered some 8'649 signatures petitioning against the project, in which residents had complained about the “way the road plans ate into unspoiled land” as well as its “excessive cost”, some 47.7 million euros. During the protest, demonstrators who came principally from localities that will be affected by the construction of the dual carriageway, Inca, Búger, Campanet and Sa Pobla, made it perfectly clear that they are in favour of refurbishing and widening the already-existing road, but not by means of such environmentally damaging infrastructure as a dual-carriageway. In this respect, Miquel Angel March, the spokesman for the environmental watchdog in the Balearics (GOB), one of the bodies that is supporting the anti-highway development lobby, condemned the Balearic ministry for Public Works for trying to disguise what is essentially a motorway development as a “road-widening project”. The protest “chain” had deliberately been planned for Sunday to coincide with the traditional autumn fair in Sa Pobla. Many visitors including politicians, approaching the town by car, couldn't fail to see the demonstration. Last Thursday, the final day when claims against the proposed highway development would be accepted, a spokesperson for the lobby, Lucy Collyer, confirmed that instead of a dual carriageway, the group would like to see a “4-lane road-widening project”. According to the lobby's calculations, it would mean “just a minute more of driving time” and would eat into only one fifth of the territory that would have to be sacrificed for the dual carriageway.


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