The resort city of Faro feels slighted after recent announcement for high-speed rail line in the North of Portugal, Source: Unsplash

City of Faro feels “forgotten” in light of announced new Portuguese high-speed railway

City of Faro feels “forgotten” in light of announced new Portuguese high-speed railway

The mayor of the city is of the opinion that regional development once again prioritizes the North over the South

Earlier this week, the Portuguese Government made a grand announcement about the construction of a brand new high-speed train track, which will dramatically shorten travel times between Porto and Lisbon. It turns out not everyone was elated by the news as the mayor of Faro commented that this only shows and affirms the tendency for development projects to ignore the southern regions of the country, especially Algarve, where Faro is located.

This is good news for the North. Once again, for the South, there is absolutely nothing new. We look forward to next summer,” said Mayor Rogério Bacalhau to Lusa news agency, in reaction to the presentation, on Wednesday, of the high-speed project to connect Lisbon to Porto and Porto to Vigo (Spain).

Tourist hotspot, but overlooked by authorities

His remark about the following summer was meant as an ironic comment on how politicians only remember Faro when the holiday season rolls around. Faro is located on Portugal’s southern coast and is the country’s most popular beach destination.

The mayor also added that those who travel to the Algarve and “have decision-making capacity”, go by car “and not by train” and, therefore, “there are no major problems”, he joked. Rogério Bacalhau criticized that, in order to meet the environmental goals of decarbonization, there has been an increase in bus transport, which he considered to be a “nonsense”.

In all fairness, there is already a high-speed train running from Lisbon to Faro – the Alfa Pendular service that also currently connects Lisbon and Porto. It takes about 3 hours to reach the resort town from the capital using this option.

However, that is also the time that it takes to reach Porto from Lisbon and yet the national authorities considered it essential to diversify the mobility offer between the two major cities with a new high-speed line. The project made no mention of expansion to Faro. Instead, during the presentation, it was said that the ambition was to eventually connect the high-speed line with the Spanish railway network in Vigo (Galicia).



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