SECRETARY FOR Public Works, Paulo Campos, came to Sotavento Algarve to announce improvements to the EN125 on the stretch between Vila Nova de Cacela and Aldeia Nova, where three new roundabouts will be included.
The construction of a series of roundabouts in these locales has long been propounded by local authorities and residents, especially seeing that, since the building of the EN125, no improvements have been carried out to take account of the increase in traffic and urban expansion.
In the last few years, several pedestrians have been hit by cars and there has been a number of fatal accidents on a stretch of road only five kilometres long – a problem that has already been debated by the Vila Real de Santo António Câmara at least four times over the past few years.
In spite of the road being constantly crossed by dozens of children due to the proximity of several schools, no announcement has been made for alternative methods for pedestrians wishing to cross the busy highway. Between Tavira and Vila Real de Santo António, a distance of 20km, there is not one single footbridge – yet, this stretch physically divides at least four neighbourhoods.
The full programme of improvements has not been finalised and the prospect of central reservations being inserted at some points along the highway has not been discounted.
Works on the EN125 are due to start in mid 2006 and it is envisaged that, ultimately, traffic on the EN125 will, at least, have to slow down for the purpose of safety. For example, the 10km stretch between Cacela and Vila Real de Santo António will be much slower, with seven kilometres passing through built up areas with a maximum speed limit of 50km per hour.