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Thousands protested over Tarragona province road deaths less than 24 hours before fatal coach crash
21 March 2016 @ 14:00

JUST half a day before the tragic coach crash which killed 13 female students on the AP-7 motorway near Tortosa (Tarragona province), over 500 demonstrators had blocked off the parallel N-340 highway in protest over motorway tolls and the high death rate whilst lorry drivers joined in by causing nearly 70 kilometres of tailbacks on the AP-7 itself with a slow convoy.

Around 120 kilometres north of the devastating coach smash on the same motorway, lorries slowed down to first gear and leant on their horns between Tarragona city and Vilafranca del Penedès just over the northern border into Barcelona, and between Banyeres de Penedès and Roda de Berà, both in the province of Tarragona.

On each stretch of the AP-7, tailbacks of 48 and 15 kilometres respectively were reported.

And on the N-340 single-carriageway inter-provincial highway which runs alongside the AP-7, queues of three kilometres in both directions built up in El Vendrell, about 100 kilometres north of the coach crash site, and a kilometre southbound in El Perelló, just 15 kilometres from where the Autocares Alejandro bus spun round and overturned at 06.00hrs the following morning.

Foot protesters chanted Prou peatges, prou morts ('enough of tolls, enough deaths'), clamouring for the AP-7 through the province of Tarragona to be made toll-free once and for all to discourage lorries and long-distance drivers from using the overburdened N-340, causing numerous fatal accidents.

El Perelló's mayor Ferran Cid said mayors throughout the province have been putting pressure on the ministry of infrastructure and public works to solve the problem and wipe out the accident blackspots, to no avail.

“This cannot carry on – there are too many traffic accidents causing too many deaths,” Ferran Cid complains.

The very site on the AP-7 where the bus carrying Erasmus students back to Barcelona from a night at the Fallas in Valencia overturned was described by local authorities as being a notorious accident blackspot which had claimed many lives before. 


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