It is hard to see through all the claims and counter claims as to who is really
responsible for the bottleneck on the N332 as it passes through Torrevieja.
However, it does seem as though we might be moving towards a resolution of
the debate surrounding this controversial road.
The mayor of Torrevieja, José Manuel Dolón, has reported that the Ministry of
Development has once more taken up the issue and is prepared to set the
project in motion again. The mayor has received a letter from the Minister,
Inigo de la Serna, which indicates that the General Directorate of Highways
has decided to order the drafting and construction of the N332 through
The mayor displayed to the press on the 12 th September the number of letters
and other forms of communication that have been made by the present local
government. The expressed aim is to secure the reopening of the issue and a
commitment from the Spanish government to solving the problem once and
There has been debate over a period of years as to where exactly the
responsibility for the modifications to the N332 lie. Finally it would seem that
the national government is prepared to take responsibility and move ahead
with the much-needed changes. The citizens of Torrevieja and surrounding
areas will now wait anxiously to see if this commitment is acted on any time
It’s summer and almost impossible to park your car in the centre of Torrevieja.
In spite of this the actions taken by a frustrated car driver may seem a little
harsh. He called the police to report that a group of women were sitting out
side their houses to take the air in the very place where he wanted to park his
The habit of the Spanish, particularly the older generation, of taking their
chairs outside in the evening to enjoy the cooler air outside, is well
established. The women were engaged in this practice at the junction
between calle Santa Trinidad and Patricio Pérez. They were taking the
opportunity to chat when, according to Informacion, the difference of opinion
is reported to have taken place
From one view point the two or three women were engaged in the harmless
activity of taking the air at their doors. From the other view point, they were
occupying a potential parking space and perhaps even ‘saving it’ for one of
their relatives. The police were called and the women asked to move their
chairs onto the pavement and off the road. They apparently obliged and a
possible conflict was avoided.
This is not the first time that such an incident has occurred in the area
between el Calvario and Acequión. Tempers flare easily as old traditions meet
young blood and high speed city life. And still there is the rest of August to
Councillor Fanny Serrano has an unfortunate name for her current position as
councillor for planning. In the Spanish press much has been made of the
resemblance of her surname ‘Serrano’ to ‘cerrado’ which means ‘closed’.
Councillor Serrano has got a reputation during her two years in office for
closing a number of public buildings and bars, restaurants and clubs.
The latest closures have been three beach bars in Punta Prima, an action that
has been noted by many people who enjoyed using the facilities during the
summer season. The question they have raised is – why now?
The majority of the premises being closed never had an opening licence in the
first place. Before any building is open to the public for trading, it must have
been checked and approved for use for a specified purpose. However, a
number of buildings in Torrevieja do not appear to have had this piece of
paper work in place but have been continuing to trade for a number of years.
Two of the beach bars that were recently closed had been trading since 2012
and one of them since 2007. They had also been paying to use a terraced
area without a closure order being put into place. For those who have enjoyed
the use of these facilities it now seems absurd to say that they must close
when they are part of the local landscape.
However, the opening licences are there for a reason. The council do make
money out of them and they are not cheap, but they are also a way of
checking that the correct facilities are in place and that the premises are fit to
use. Questions are now being asked about why so many buildings and
businesses have been allowed to continue to provide services for the public
There are allegations that people in office did know that licences were missing
but turned a blind eye to this. It is also argued that with the number of
businesses operating in a town like Torrevieja, it is very difficult to keep a
check on what’s on the right side of the law and what isn’t.
To keep regular checks on all the catering and business premises would
require a large administration backed up by police officers with the time to do
it. Without these it is difficult for the town to have systematic inspection in
Perhaps what upsets people most about this subject is that some places are
still ‘getting away with it’ whist others are not. The beach bar owners are one
example of people who feel that one law is being applied to them but not to
others. What is more likely is that the town hall simply hasn’t got round to
checking up on everyone and, given the size of the task, are unlikely to do so
any time soon.
In the meantime, the question might be asked – what should be done? Should
we continue to turn a blind eye and circumvent requirements or enforce them
Perhaps what most people would like to see is a middle ground between the
two that allows businesses time to bring themselves into line without
necessarily imposing the hefty fines that can result. However, where laws are
in statute it can be difficult to apply ‘special considerations’ without breaking
In the meantime, the beach bars will be missed and those who usually
frequent them would perhaps have preferred that the town hall had targeted
somewhere else. Now, we wait with interest to see what Councillor Serrano
will close next.