An access track that is meant for use by emergency and authorised municipal vehicles to provide support to one of the Algarve’s most popular beauty spots, has come under fire from locals due to its unusable state.
Locals complain the track, which provides support to the Alvor Dunes walkway and beach, is completely impassable at present, largely due to recent heavy rain. But, they argue, simple repairs such as laying gravel could fix the problem and solve it year-round.
The track is meant for use by emergency vehicles such as ambulances and beach-cleaning trucks, but neither are able to use it at present, forcing vehicles to cross a nearby football pitch instead.
“That road is meant for use by authorised vehicles but they can’t use it,” local resident Chris Bowles lamented, adding “there has been no maintenance for the past two or three years. It’s a complete mud bath.”
Locals have also complained about a bridge that forms part of the six-kilometre long wooden walkway – the longest in the Algarve and a popular attraction – claiming it is subsiding again less than a year after an intervention was carried out last spring to reinforce it.
Contacted by The Portugal News, Portimão council explained the track falls under the jurisdiction of the APA – Portuguese Environment Agency.
The council added: “The dirt tracks are on land that is in a very sensitive area from an environmental point of view; I do not think it is possible to place gravel in an area of dunes.
“Any intervention done there should be coordinated by the Portuguese Environment Agency, and the Council and the parish have already shown their willingness to collaborate in this sense, since some sections have become hard to use given the recent rains.”
The council said, with regards to the subsiding walkways, “the council and the Municipal Civil Protection Service of Portimão are monitoring this situation very closely.”
Portimão council elaborated that it was its afore-mentioned services that alerted the APA to the poor condition of some areas of the walkway, demanding that they be fixed.
“The APA has undertaken with the City Council of Portimão to carry out work on the bad areas and close them off”, it explained.
In a statement sent to The Portugal News the APA said “the access track is an area that is reserved for emergency vehicles” and that its “current state is due to improper use.”
It also addressed the subsidence and damage of the walkway’s bridge”, saying “The Portuguese Environment Agency is currently finalising public tender proceedings for its repair, which is intended to be complete before the start of summer.”