Friday, January 07, 2005

Group formed to oppose 'Funicular' to Upper Rock

A lobby group has been formed by local transport companies and taxi-drivers to campaign against plans to build a funicular to the Upper Rock. The group has been formed by Calypso Tours, Persian Rose, Gibraltar Taxi Association, Southern Garages and M H Bland.

A group spokesman said:

“A meeting was held yesterday of the “Lobby Group Against the Funicular” made up of all, except one, of the bodies and companies involved in the local transport of tourists. Bland Ltd were asked not to attend the meeting as until recently it has been associated with the scheme to construct a funicular railway from Landport Ditch to Rock Gun in front of the City Walls and the Moorish Castle.

Over a number of years members of the Group have monitored the funicular’s progress confident that it would not see the light of day due to the very clear and enormous negative effect it would have on so many in Gibraltar who care for our tourism and on our natural and historical heritage.”

The Lobby Group has written to the Chief Minister conveying its profound concern at the proposal currently before the Development & Planning Commission. The scheme has now been submitted twice before the DPC. The writer of the Environmental Impact Study presented to the DPC for the funicular has, in the view of the Lobby Group, demonstrated a complete lack of knowledge of the local tourist market.”

“The Lobby Group will provide a focal point for objectors. Environmentalists and ecologists are known to oppose the scheme and it is likely that residents of the estates below and adjacent to the proposed tunnel that the funicular proposes to blast through the face of the rock will also have reservations. These residents will have to endure the noise, concussion and other effects of what we understand will be five months of blasting operations. In view of the likely negative impact on businesses not in the region of the northern end of Main Street, the Group will also be making contact with the Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses.”


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