He is 19 years old and is tired of risking his life on the side of the road that connects Santomera with the Murcian district of Cobatillas. His daily goal is to take line 22 to travel to the capital to pursue his high school studies. Amín Mahir opts for that bus, since “line 36 – which connects the municipality with Murcia – has very few frequencies and takes a long time to arrive”, laments this young man, like most of the residents who have to travel to the capital by city bus.
The complaints that the residents themselves have been making every Saturday for months in their demonstrations are accentuated as time goes by and no one gives them a solution. They claim to be “fed up” with the inflexibility of the bus connections from Santomera to Murcia. “The problem is that to get to Cobatillas we have to walk along the side of the road, and one day a car will kill us,” denounced the residents.
The lack of information screens in Murcia and the lack of shade at the bus stop are other problems
Mahir cannot hide his concern. «I have to come to this stop, because the Santomera line does not have good combinations. And when I walk on the shoulder I feel afraid, because the buses and trucks pass quite close as it is a very small road. There are practically no sidewalks in most sections », he maintains with regret for the situation to which he is doomed.
This young man recalls that “the first few times I took this route to catch the bus, I was impressed to see how the trucks circulated, because they went by at great speed.” To this day, “I’ve gotten used to it, but I feel insecure,” he says.
The Community and the Murcia City Council reproach each other about how to provide a solution
Another of the residents affected by this problem is Lucía López, who goes every morning from La Matanza to Cobatillas to get on public transport. But this young woman, eighteen years old, is not on foot. She goes to her stop in her own vehicle, which she leaves parked in the area. “The bus schedule in Santomera is very short, so I have to get by leaving the car here,” explains López. «I am doing an internship in Murcia and it is much more comfortable for me to take the bus here in Cobatillas, because it only takes half an hour to get to Murcia. The line from Santomera to the capital seems eternal to me.
The travel time is another of the biggest complaints from the neighbors. They criticize that there are frequencies that even take an hour and a quarter, which “becomes desperate.” But these are not the only problems that citizens have with the mobility service since the Community took it over under the new Transport Master Plan in December 2021. The lack of screens with which to orient themselves in the center is another of their claims. “You don’t know what the stop is, or when the bus passes,” they protest. “The Cobatillas stops are not in good condition either, the benches need to be replaced and there is nothing to provide shade,” the citizens complain.
scuffle between agencies
The regional government accuses the Murcia City Council, on which line 22 of Cobatillas depends, of “blocking” its attempts to “articulate a solution.” In the Ministry of Development they emphasize that “we can only improve the service with a coordination agreement, but the Murcia City Council refuses.” And they affirm that the solution is to create the metropolitan area.
For their part, from the Murcian Consistory they criticize that “the Community does not want to solve this problem, which is theirs.” Last February, the Plenary of the Santomera City Council unanimously approved a motion presented by Alternativa to request the recovery of the previous frequency and, meanwhile, find a temporary remedy.
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