Will pedestrian traffic be fobidden across the runway?
|The publication in PANORAMA of the drawing showing the new frontier road caused considerable interest. Going from the frontier would mean taking a long detour to the East Side through a ditch at the eastern end of the runway, eventually arriving at the Cross of Sacrifice.
A question being asked is: What about pedestrians? Will pedestrians coming from and going to Spain have to walk all around the runway area before arriving at their destination?
Will it cease to be possible to cross the runway on foot?
This is what one reader wrote:
"I read your article about the new airport road plan. What do you think will happen to the current pedestrian access?
Cutting off this route would mean an extra 30 min walk for many commuters, or those wishing to shop or socialise on either side of the border.
By making the journey more inhospitable people would have to resort to the bus service, which is already overcrowded and infrequent and stops at about 21:00hrs. I prefer to walk since it is the only form of excercise that I can get without having to pay.
Such a change would make Gib less accessible from a pedestrian point, and in my opinion cut it off from Spain.
Does this mean that gone are the days when one could easily pop over the border on foot?"
Some valid questions are being asked in this letter alone.
Walking across the runway is a time honoured habit, a way of life, a way of doing things, so if it is removed it is bound to be something of a shock to many.
Going across is just a short walk one way or the other, compared to having to go all the way round the new road as planned.
Walking to or from Eastern Beach alone is quite a walk! Imagine the additional distance from Eastern Beach one way or another.
Obviously, the solution would have been a tunnel under the runway, but that would have been a different kettle of fish, engineering wise, to having a ditch at the end of the runway. Was the runway tunnel considered and dropped?
From an RAF point of view, the preferred choice must be to do away with pedestrian traffic as well, now that vehicular traffic is to stop going across the runway.
It has to be admitted that it is odd to have a road across the runway, but it has worked well for as long as people can remember - thanks to the MoD.
The MoD would probably hate the idea of permitting pedestrian traffic to continue across the runway, which means retaining the barrier system and all that entails.
The safety aspect would not go away either.
But many people are going to be against pedestrian traffic being prohibited across the runway. That is obvious.
What alternatives are planned? Will there be a 24-hour bus service?
Would bus fares go up because of the longer distance covered?
Questions and more questions. Will there be satisfactory answers? Many people are obviously waiting to know!