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COSTA DEL SOL

Estepona’s ‘short-cut’ slide shut down over safety fears

The 38-metre-long slide was heralded as a time-saver, a short cut for residents who could woosh down it’s curving chute to reach the lower level of the town within seconds.

Estepona's 'short-cut' slide shut down over safety fears
The Estepona slide was closed within 24 hours.

The 38-metre-long slide was heralded as a time-saver, a short cut for residents who could woosh down it’s curving chute to reach the lower level of the town within seconds.

Spain’s longest slide opened with fanfair in the Costa del Sol resort town last Thursday with residents queuing up for an invigorating descent from the upper part of town to sea level, thus saving a ten minute stroll.

But within hours, social media had become flooded with reports of minor injuries sustained during 'descent which has a gradient varying between 32 and 34 degrees.

Some flew down at uncontrollable speeds, hurtling off the end ramp in an alarming manner, such as in this video posted on Youtube,

“The Estepona slide is a piece of shit,” one woman wrote on Twitter. “I went on it and got hurt all over. I flew two metres and the police started to laugh.”

She also complained that the slide left her with minor injuries and posted a photo of grazed elbows:

Within 24 hours of opening, the town hall said it had closed the slide an ordered thorough safety checks.

But it did stipulate that the injuries were isolated and people needed to follow clear instructions posted on the slide. These include maintaining a seated position rather than lying down, keeping arms tucked in close to the body and descending one at a time.

“The image shared widely on social media was an isolated event,” the council said in a statement.

“More than a thousand people used the slide correctly [on Thursday] and without incident. However, given the situation, the council has requested new checks to provide maximum guarantees for users.”

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ANIMAL RIGHTS

Finally, Costa del Sol town imposes weight limit on donkey rides

For decades, they have transported tourists through the narrow cobbled streets lined with whitewashed houses in the picturesque hilltop town of Mijas on Spain’s Costa del Sol.

Finally, Costa del Sol town imposes weight limit on donkey rides
Photo: Katerina7chuya/Depositphotos

The traditional “donkey taxis” have been running since the 1960s when local farmers worked out that tourists would pay to be transported by their beasts of burden on tours round the village.

But finally after years of campaigning, the town hall is poised to introduce a raft of new measures to improve the welfare of the town’s donkeys and that includes setting a weight limit on what they are allowed to carry.

The new bylaws will ban anyone over the weight of 80kg (12 and a half stone) from taking the donkey taxi, in what is being viewed as a compromise between animal rights activists who want the donkey taxis outlawed altogether and the muleteers whose livelihoods depend on the them.

The new measures, which will be effective from 2020 depending on a public consultation and final council vote, will introduce regular veterinary checks and improved welfare conditions with compulsory rest breaks, shade and refreshments and an improved stabling area.

One of the key points is a ban on anyone riding the donkey if they weigh in at over 80kg.

Animals rights groups claim the animals should not carry anything over a third of their own body weight.

The measures were drawn up “in consultation with both the muleteers and different animal welfare groups,” explained Nicolás Cruz, the local Councillor for Transportation and Mobility in Mijas.


 
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