Artist’s impression of the new bus station in San Pedro Alcántara. :: SUR
The latest proposal to site a park beside the planned new bus station in San Pedro Alcántara has been rejected as a ‘ruse’ by campaigners protesting against the project due to its proximity to the Colegio Teresa de León .
The planned bus station, which will have a cafeteria, waiting room and terrace, will take up 2,400 square metres of a plot of land which is 5,500 square metres in size. The rest is to be dedicated to a new park, with areas for skate boarding and roller blading, according to a press conference given by Marbella mayor Ángeles Muñoz on Monday. The vegetation of the recreational area is designed to offer a green wall, both aesthetically and acoustically, between the school and the bus station space.
Protesters have reacted to the news by declaring that they believe it to be a sweetener. Colegio Teresa Leon’s AMPA (parents’ association) said that the park and its facilities do not alter the essential facts of having “bus and people traffic opposite an infant and primary school”.
A two hour meeting held on Wednesday afternoon between representatives from Marbella council, the school’s AMPA and a neighbourhood campaign, ‘Por una Estación Digna’, saw no agreement reached between the opposing factions.
The council position
The municipal head of works, Javier García, signalled the council’s intention to go ahead with the scheme to build the new bus station. During the meeting García laid out the reasons why the location of the new bus station is the best option available and stressed that its impact will be minimal with a building of only 80 square metres which has been designed to blend in with its surroundings.
However the parents of children studying at the Teresa de León school have not changed their opinion that the site is not large enough for the amount of bus traffic and it is in the wrong place.
For Cristina Jiménez, the president of ‘Por una Estación Digna’, the real purpose of the meeting - which only served for the two sides to make their position clear - was so that the council “can now say that they have held a meeting with us”. Earlier in the week she referred to the fact that the council had cancelled meetings on three separate occasions.
Jiménez pointed out that the bus terminal will not have a taxi rank and that the entrance and exit to the 48 bay car park will be in the same street as access to the school with a consequent rise in traffic and more danger to the pupils of Colegio Teresa León.
The parents are cocnerned that the works are planned to begin during a holiday period, designed in their opinion to help avoid the presence of protests - important for making their opposition to the scheme clear. As such, they have stated their intention to continue their activities to highlight their situation. One of these was a plan to form a human chain in front of the school on Thursday evening.
Cristina Jiménez says that Marbella council “has not taken into account two thousand signatures on our petition.
“Now we will have to find different ways of protesting.”