The first major rains of the fall brought traffic chaos across Madrid on Monday morning.
Crashes and breakdowns resulting from slippery road surfaces were the main causes of the delays, which continued for almost five hours and stretched for tens of kilometers in some parts of the capital, particularly in northern areas. The M-30, M-40 and M-50 beltways, the city’s main access roads, as well as central thoroughfares such as the Paseo de la Castellana and Plaza de Castilla were all affected.
“All the crashes were caused by rear-end collisions,” explained sources from the city traffic department. “The roads are very slippery.”
City Hall can’t just sit there with its arms folded staring at the Madrileños who have to spend two hours in their cars every time it rains”
Madrid Socialist councilor Antonio Miguel Carmona
These kind of incidents always occur when showers return after several weeks without rain, the same sources added. “People forget what happens on these days. They pour out on to the highways en masse. And they drive too close to the car in front,” they noted.
The Madrid traffic office recorded the first collisions at around 7am at the Manoteras junction in the north of the city. “It is vital that the beltways are functioning well first thing in the morning. And this Monday they were not,” it said.
Tailbacks of up to 30 kilometers formed on the M-40 between the southern suburb of Carabanchel and the A-1 highway in the north.
“Madrid City Hall can’t just sit there with its arms folded staring at the Madrileños who have to spend two hours in their cars every time it rains,” said Madrid Socialist councilor and the party’s former municipal spokesman, Antonio Miguel Carmona.
“The Popular Party was responsible for doing things badly, now Ahora Madrid is responsible for doing nothing,” continued the councilor, who demanded a “coherent” mobility plan for the city that strengthens public transport.
English version by Nick Funnell.