The N-1

200 personasWe should not get used to it, but, like almost all bad events that do not stop repeating, it feels tedious. A lot of tedium. “Another one”.

Another death on the N-1, one more event that the media and even some affected people are determined to call accident.

Each time some one dies on the N1 between Burgos and Miranda, the Platform of Neighbours Affected by the N1 calls for a cut of the road at the point of collision to request that the AP1, safer alternative, be free of charge.

Today was the cut for the last death, the first of this year. As the road borders Castil de Peones, La Bureba, Burgos. The snowstorm has lasted a few days and apparently today caused some incidents. In the valley through which the road circulates is not as noticeable, at least in this section, it is flanked by mountains.

200 personasWe were about 200 or 300 people; some of us parked the cars in Castil and then we walked to the road, while our feet sank in the snow or slid on the ice. It rained at times, and the temperature did not exceed a Celsius degree.

The local population and even some politicians agree that the national road between Burgos and Miranda de Ebro supports excessive traffic. It is part of the commercial route that takes out the produce of, probably, the whole Andalusia and all the south of Madrid, that goes to France or to the ports of the Cantabrian Sea. So it is not uncommon for, for example, thirty trucks to drive together, one behind the other, and a few kilometres behind, another convoy.

There is a motorway that runs practically parallel. But it’s not free. In fact, it is so expensive that it is almost always practically empty.

In Spain, the motorways are financed thus: the State, in its different instances (all this is quite difficult to understand when you read about it) signs a contract with a called “concessionary” company, which builds the motorway and then charges tolls for a certain period of time. At the end of the contract, it is decided whether the toll is eliminated or if the concession is extended. In this case, the concession contract ends on the 30th of November, 2018. But it is not known what will happen that day.

The fact is that while waiting, there are deadly collisions on this road too regularly. It’s as if lives did not matter. The car industry, the oil industry, the motorway industry do not seem to be affected by these ‘collateral damages’. The GDP of a country goes up every time there is a car crash. Repairs, scrapping. Hospital. Crosses … A slogan of the Platform is “Death, Dark Business”.

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