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Monday, February 28, 2022

Mayor of Garachico defends the funicular as a solution to the difficulties on the roads

The project, stalled since 2008, to connect the upper neighbourhoods with the town, is pending analysis within the framework of the Sustainable Mobility Plan

The mayor of Garachico, José Heriberto González, hasn't given up on the launch of a funicular to connect the upper neighbourhoods with the town centre, the only viable option given the orography of the landscape and the alternative that it offers to the difficulties of the TF-421 road. This route is the only option to get in and out of Isla Baja when sea storms force Adolfo Suárez avenue to be closed and it is the main connection between the coast and its midlands, but the complexity of its curves, the narrowness of the roadway and the risk of landslides condition its use, despite being essential for the region.

The TF-42, which connects the municipality with that of Icod de los Vinos, also has serious risks of landslides and presents unfortunate conditions, which, in addition, endanger the safety of vehicles. Currently, the residents of neighbourhoods such as San Juan del Reparo, La Culata and Genovés, for example, have to travel to Icod and then return to Garachico if they want to go to the town. If they offer an alternative transport, such as the funicular, they could do it directly, he adds.

In December 2019, island director of Mobility, José Alberto León, agreed to review the project drawn up in 2005 by the Pico del Teide cable car company (with private and public participation of the Cabildo de Tenerife), which also carried out the investment. This undertook to restore and clean the area of ​​the of La Culata Cliff.

In 2008, it received the first approval and, the following year, Cotmac approved the Special Protection Plan for this last space, which included a 15-meter-wide corridor for this transportation system. But from that moment, the project stalled, despite the fact that it was always said that the layout was not rigid, but that it would adapt to what was established by the environmental impact study.

The initiative was stopped that same year, because some of the environmental reports were not favourable. There have been several attempts to unlock it, but so far none have been successful. Currently, it is pending to be analysed within the framework of the Insular Plan for Sustainable Mobility (Pimsit), confirmed from the Cabildo.

“I don't want to go against the technical reports nor do I want to put pressure on anyone. Nor does it touch any tree or any animal species or of geological or archaeological interest, but I think that a slightly greater effort of understanding must be made and if things have to be corrected, they must be corrected,” clarifies the president.

If it becomes a reality, it would be the first funicular in Tenerife "and that is an important tourist attraction in addition to the best connection between the town and the midlands", insists the president.

According to the project, it would have capacity for about 70 people and would be glazed to enjoy the views offered by the municipality.