Life from an outsider's perspective…

Tenerife Ring road to be completed by December 2013

Tunnel Road Canary IslandsIt looks like the new highway between Adeje and Santiago del Teide has been delayed again. However, governmental funding has been approved, work can now continue and hence the expected completion date has been postponed until the end of 2013. This coincides with another part of the island loop (“anillo insular” in Spanish), the stretch between Icod de los Vinos in the North of Tenerife and Santiago del Teide. The two new roads represent a 400 million euro investment for the island of Tenerife.

Stop anillo insularIn searching for some media to add to this post, sometimes I seem like the only one to see the benefits of the new ring road. That doesn’t mean I approve of its construction in the first place, because quite frankly, we try and keep our island beautiful (or at least we’d like to think we do). I just try to be optomistic wherever possible. What’s the point in all this pessimistic doom? I see all these protest signs all over the internet. Like the one pictured to the left. “PROTEST. No to the destruction of our land. Stop the anillo insular, there are alternatives.” Umm, what alternatives exactly? Why not mention the alternatives on this sensationalist poster? An adequate transport infrastructure is the key to a well developed, some might say advanced, economy.

Anillo Insular Tenerife Cabildo 2013I’m surprised, because anyone who lives here should be familiar with the constant stream of vehicles along road TF47 and TF5 (between Icod & Puerto de la Cruz it’s not an actual highway, just a two lane road). It takes just one slow driver on this route to add 15-20 minutes to your journey time. Seriously. That’s not just wasted time, it’s wasted fuel. Many of these drivers are just passing through. They don’t stop and spend money along the way in all the local little hangouts. Here’s a thought: wouldn’t it be more efficient for all these vehicles to travel on a highway? Well it is and that’s why they’re already building it.

Map of the island loop road back in 1969.Here’s my positive outlook for these road upgrades. People here need a jolt of optimism in a time of crisis. More cars on newer straighter roads will mean less cars on the old, windy interesting roads. So for cyclists, motorcyclists and Sunday drivers alike, the creation of new highways results in less traffic on the more scenic routes… “the road less travelled” as they say. These type of riders and drivers are the ones who are more likely to stop at a cafe and spend money.

That’s not all, the shortening of journey times around this region should actually open up working opportunities in the area. It will then be more cost effective for people to work further afield or for the self-employed to take on an extra job that’s further away than their normal work zone. To the people living in affected areas, you now have an opportunity to work in either Las Americas or Puerto de la Cruz for example.

2 Responses to “Tenerife Ring road to be completed by December 2013”

  1. No great opinion about this either way. Just a couple of observations:

    1. If you’re forced to drive more slowly, that may increase your journey time, however it does not mean you automatically use more fuel. Your car may actually be more efficient at the lower speed – you may actually *save* fuel. (Down to air resistance increasing with the square of the speed). Whether this is the case or not will depend on the specifics of the speeds and the cars, of course.

    2. Having been a tourist to Tenerife, I have to say I found the south side of the island much uglier, and far less attractive, than the north side – particularly west of Puerto de la Cruz. A major factor in this was the presence of the motor-way along the south side. The north side, particularly towards the west, felt far less unspoiled. Also, the south side appears to have more industry, no doubt encouraged by the motorway.

    I would be careful about the impact a full ring-road would have on the “feel” of Tenerife.

  2. Fuel consumption also depends on the aerodynamics of the vehicle in question at a given speed and also the gear ratios… I know that with my van, I get more mileage if I am in 6th gear on the motorway than if I’m in 4th going around those twisty roads.

    There’s more braking and accelerating going on around the windier roads than the straight ones, especially if there is more slower-moving traffic present.

    Mostly though, it’s a question of time saved, because tourist drivers often drive at a snails pace, especially around corners (there I said it). Flame away!

    I wholeheartedly agree with the fact that the tenerife ring road is uglier though.

    I am not actually justifying the construction of new highways, merely looking for some kind of positive outcome to allow me to live with them.

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