«We have never come so far with the widening of the N-420»

The Chamber of Commerce of Reus celebrates that in the draft of the general budgets of the State for 2023 it is contemplated to carry out the informative feasibility study of the project to widen the national highway 420 (N-420), between Alcañiz and Reus. This is a request long made by the Chambers of Teruel, Conca, Tortosa and Reus, among other entities and organizations. The latter, moreover, stands out as one of the promoters.

«The widening of the N-420 road is not a whim, it is a necessity. It is clear that we have never come as far as now and it has been possible thanks to the unity of action of the chambers of the territory and the strategic alliance with the Chamber of Teruel", acknowledges the president of the Chamber of Commerce of Reus, Jordi Just , who requests that the State carry out the study "with a broad view." “Staying only with the current traffic figures would be a mistake. It is necessary to assess the economic impact that the split can have when it comes to revitalizing the regions through which it runs, ”says Just.

The president of the chamber entity emphasizes that "we would not have come this far if the demand had not come from Catalonia." The alliance with Aragon was "strategic." Just once again justifies the split as an opportunity: "You only have to look at other areas of Spain where split roads have been built, which have experienced a new, much more prosperous industrial and business reality."

The vice-president of Territori in the Chamber of Commerce of Reus and also the former mayor of the municipality of Falset, Jaume Domènech, states that the N-420 is a "basic communication route for the Port of Tarragona, serving the transport of cereals in Lower Aragon. "It is also a natural outlet for the chemical industry, to access the interior of the Iberian Peninsula", declares Domènech. In the logistics aspect, the vice president of Territory in the Chamber assures that the split would allow linking production logistics centers and those located at a medium distance would benefit. "We have to consider reindustrializing our regions with existing industrial estates," he says. And it is that, as Just said, the fact that the road is unfolded would promote the revitalization of many municipalities.

road infrastructure

«In order to make existing industrial estates or other development projects evolve, we need road infrastructure in good condition», adds Domènech. He invites you to imagine the potential that the Eix de l'Ebre would have: "It would mean an absolute paradigm shift in our communications."

For Teruel, continues the vice-president of the Territory of the Chamber of Reus, the N-420 is a "road of great importance" and lists one of the reasons: "Connecting with the airport of the city of Reus, to which they often refer like the Bajo Aragón airport». Domènech states that it must be taken into account that "a good part of the international tourism that goes to Matarranya uses the Reus aerodrome as the arrival gate." Who was mayor of Falset, also sums up all the opportunities that the split would give if the future Intermodal Station were added: «The connection with the interior by the 420 is vital». Fixing the road would allow the generation of "an internal network of municipalities that would structure Teruel and that would unite with Tarragona through joint cultural and industrial promotion."

On the other hand, the regional delegate of the Reus Chamber of Commerce in Terra Alta, Pere Bové, justifies the importance of unfolding the national highway that concerns us, mainly because "it would be essential to calm the effects of depopulation that impacts on municipalities through which the road arrives.

The flight of inhabitants from rural municipalities is another issue that concerns the chambers of the territory and that they have on the table. “There are populations that register a continuous and constant loss of inhabitants, decreasing their social and economic activity”, adds Bové.

For the commissioner of the Chamber in Terra Alta, the split would also open "a new fast access route to Madrid that would save time and kilometers in relation to the current route through Zaragoza." Another issue highlighted by Bové is the reduction in the accident rate: «The action would have a direct impact on road safety».

Where we come from?

The president of the Chamber of Commerce of Reus reviews that, after joining with his team at the head of the Reus chamber entity, "we held the first formal meeting with Alcañiz, at the headquarters of the Chamber of Teruel." Just remembers his meeting with his counterpart, in this case, Antonio Santa Isabel, to talk about the splitting of the National 420. "With this initiative it became clear what importance we attribute to this road," he notes. .

During the last three years, the Chamber met with deputies and senators and organized a series of conferences on the occasion of the 2019 general elections. "We asked the candidates if they would defend the split," he mentions. For this reason, in the preparation of the general State budgets for 2021 and 2022 "we remind you of our commitment" and it was not until this year that "we have achieved a historic milestone: include the item for the feasibility study that by 2023 extends the anticipated amount.

Just positively values ​​the result of the November 2021 vote. «An amendment presented by the mixed group, a republican parliamentarian and the plural parliamentary group at the request of Teruel Exists, ERC, PDeCAT and JuntsxCat, were also joined by socialists, popular and Citizens. We reached a total of 287 votes in favor and none against », he celebrates.

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