Until recently, motorists using the Beniardá Avenue level crossing have endured waiting times of 7 minutes. But all that changed in mid-December when the Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat Valenciana (FGV) agreed to reduce the barrier down time to just 2 minutes.
Sadly, this move is just a temporary one, but it’s hoped that the benefits it brings over the coming months will force officials to take permanent action to boost safety at the crossing.
Benefiting 26,000 drivers a day
It is estimated that 26,000 drivers pass through the Beniardá Avenue level crossing every day. During busy periods, the barriers can be closed for up to 14 minutes in a 20-minute window, meaning that heavy congestion with traffic tailing back more than 400 metres is a common occurrence in the area.
But road officials have assured drivers that the implementation of new software by the FGV will boost road safety and keep traffic jams to a minimum, which is sure to be a relief to the thousands of locals and tourists that cross through the Benidorm CV-70 junction every day.
The Councillor for Mobility, José Ramón González de Zárate, has expressed concerns for the safety of the general public who use the crossing. This is largely the result of frustrated motorists manoeuvring out of the queue of traffic and heading in the opposite direction when the wait is lengthy. Thankfully, there are plenty of vehicles on the market that can aid drivers with these manoeuvres, such as the Volkswagen Polo with reverse camera technology.
Meanwhile, many of the most popular vehicles in Spain, including the Seat Leon, Nissan Qashqai, and the Fiat 500 all come with technology that can assist, too. However, for optimum safety at the Benidorm crossing, a long-term solution is essential.
De Zárate has praised the short-term traffic solution, stating that the low-cost fix has instantly benefited the safety of motorists. The plan for later in 2020 is to remove the level crossing altogether and replace it with a traffic light system.
Although this measure hasn’t yet been approved by officials, the City Council has made it clear that the Beniardá crossings are a big priority, and that they’ll do everything they can to keep traffic flowing through the area and road users safe.
The Beniardá Avenue level crossing has long been an annoying road safety issue for those in the Benidorm area, so it comes with great relief that a short-term fix has been implemented and that a long-term one is on the cards in the coming months.