Ombudsman recommends Xàbia continues speed reduction measures on La Guardia road

The busy road provides little security for pedestrians and home owners trying to leave their driveways.

Wednesday 16th June 2021 – XÀBIA AL DÍA with Mike Smith

The Comunidad Valenciana’s Sindic de Greugues has issued a new recommendation to Xàbia Council to continue applying the necessary measures to reduce the speed on Carretera de la Guardia, which is theoretically set at 40kph.

A few days ago, XAD spoke with two residents who live on this road. They regularly walk to the Saladar supermarket along the dangerous hard shoulder of a road that is heavily frequented by traffic and took their complaint to the ombudsman after the council installed some speed bumps and painted road signs that indicate that the maximum speed limit is 40kph – but very few people comply with it.

The ombudsman received the complaint in January which explained that the council was repeatedly informed about the inconvenience suffered by residents due to the intense traffic of heavy vehicles and the speed along the Carretera de la Guardia without any success.

It agreed to initiate an investigation and requested information from Xàbia Council who reported that the actions that it had carried out along the road were “reinforcing the existing 40kph speed limit signs by means of vertical signs and the creation of two asphalt speed bumps, duly marked with vertical warning signs” as well as “markings painted on the road including transversal approach bands and circular 40kph speed limit signs”.

In September, “in response to a report submitted by the complainant”, two rubber speed bumps and four vertical speed bum warning signs were installed. However, these rubber speed-reducing bands have also produced further complaints from residents due to the noise of the vehicles which pass over them.

After this response, the complainant had a chance to make their case and argued that “the measures have been insufficient since speed reduction has not been achieved” and that residents who access the road from their driveways are put a serious risk, including those who have a mirror to make access easier. There is simply not time to safely exit the driveway. They have suggested that four more speed bumps be installed in different sections of Carretera de la Guardia.

In its report, the Ombudsman noted that “it is evident” that the Council “has adopted measures to improve road safety” on the Carretera de la Guardia, but “in view of the allegations made by the complainant, these measures are not sufficient, since they are not giving the expected result. [The lack of] road safety in the area persists as vehicles have been traveling within the maximum speed of 40kph“.

And it has recommended that the Council continues to adopt “all the necessary measures to increase road safety in the area and ensure that vehicles stick to the 40kph speed limit“.

Carretera de la Guardia: the coming and going on tourists

The Carretera de la Guardia provides a short cut between the zone of El Saladar and the Granadella and Balcón al Mar urbanizations as well as serving the large residential areas of Tosalet and Toscal.

With a road surface that will soon be replaced, the road doesn’t have pavements or lighting whilst the rain drainage was installed more than ten years ago. There is a section of pavement close to the roundabout on the junction with Carretera del Portitxol which was created when the roundabout was built as well as at the entgrance to the Tosalet urbanization where a new house has been recently constructed. Curiously, a house built on the other side at the same time was not forced to create a pavement.

In the section between Calle Romero and the first entrance to Tosalet, there is a narrow pavement on the uphill direction with enough space for a single person, which has not been adapted to the regulations but no-one has ever cared about it, not even to advise owners of the adjacent houses to prune plants and hedges.

And along this stretch of pavement, whole families descend from their homes during the summer, making their way to the Arenal, some pushing prams and baby strollers. When some of them return at night, the danger is obvious.