Many Ronda residents are up in arms about the decision to restrict traffic on the Puente Nuevo bridge to six and a half hours a day, from 10am to 1.30pm and from 5pm to 8pm. (The restriction does not apply to people who live in La Ciudad district). According to the council, 11,000 vehicles a day were using the bridge and driving through the historic part of the town, and the volume of traffic in general in this area needs to be reduced.
Those who live in the San Francisco and La Planilla districts are especially opposed to the restriction, because they say it completely isolates the southern side of the town. They would prefer an alternative route to be built, rather than the bridge being closed to traffic, and they refuse to use the existing bypass because they consider it is not in a suitable condition.
The Puente de las Curtidurías, the oldest in the town dating back to Moorish times, is one of the bridges which is experiencing an increase in traffic because of the restictions and the town hall is now looking into measures to give it the protection studies show are necessary.
Restrictions on Puente Nuevo have already sparked two protests, attended by 3,000 and 6,000 people according to the organisers, and 1,500 and 3,000 according to the police. They say these new regulations are illegal. The town hall denies this. Opposition parties have announced that if they were in power, they would cancel the restriction.