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The cost of the project will be around 700 million pesetas, including the pedestrianisation of Calle Ercilla which has already started and is expected to be completed in June. However, not everybody is happy about the project. Julio Alegria of the Ensanche Shopkeepers Association called it "crazy," and said the area needed "more parking spaces", an opinion shared by the well known designer Javier de Juana. "If there's nowhere to park, people will stop coming to the Gran Via," Juanjo Olabarria, of the Highways department of Bilbao Council, said "People have to use their car less and take advantage of public transport."

However, it is not only the fog which causes problems for the birds. It is believed the birds also get trapped in the windmills' arms. According to conservationists, Izko is the wind farm which is responsible for killing the most birds, because it is sited in an area with the greatest population of vultures in Europe. The area is home to several birds of prey* in danger of extinction - different varieties of vultures, eagles and owls. The organisation warned of the possible dangers before the windmills started working, however it appears their advice fell on deaf ears*. The group would like to see all new similar projects stopped until studies are completed regarding possible risks, something which has not been done before.



   Using your mobile while driving makes you four times as likely to have an accident according to a new study by the Spanish Institute of Vehicle Research. If a driver receives a call while on the road concentration drops for a few seconds while the call is answered. This lack of attention is greatly increased if the driver decides to make a call. lack of concentration is given as the main cause of accidents in 90% of cases. Just recently, a driver with one arm in plaster knocked down two women while holding a mobile phone in the other hand.    The use of mobile phones while driving is illegal, unless it is of the "hands-free" type, which costs around 50,000 pesetas. 540 drivers were fined last year in Bizkaia for using mobile phones while driving. The fine for this infringement* is around 100,000 pesetas. Drivers are recommended to switch off their phones before getting into their vehicles. It is estimated that there are over 300,000 mobiles in Bizkaia, and that this number is doubling annually.


Since the end of last year, residents of Lago de Baranain have 'enjoyed' a new vista of the Landaben industrial estate. The owner of a piece of land next to Arga river cut down 240 poplar trees, which acted* as a screen for the estate. Franciso Urmeneta Lazcano received permission to fell* the trees in 1997. After they were cut down, Baranain Council asked for a report, because they couldn't fmd the authorisation, however it appears that everything was in order. Now residents of the area can contemplate views of the beautiflul Volkswagen factory. Progress is progress,

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