April 2, 2012
After announcing that the high speed rail link would pass through Malaga, EU officials have now scuppered the plans by refusing to pay for the extra link.
The plans for the new high-speed rail line were originally to bypass Malaga and head inland. However, Mariano Rajoy’s Partido Popular revised the plans to include an airport stop at Málaga and then continue along the coastline for almost the entire journey to the north-east. Most visitors to Málaga airport are amazed that they can only go as far as Fuengirola by train and the plans would have greatly improved public transport in Andalucía, one of the countries main tourist destinations. It could also have included Marbella – the only town in Spain with a population over 100,000 without a train station.
Officials from the EU have accepted the plans to take the line via Antequera, but rejected the link up with Málaga airport, which will now be excluded from the plans which must be underway by 2030.
Having seen both the original and the revised plans, EU transport ministers opted for the original plan deciding to take both the passenger and freight lines past Marbella.
“Both a freight and passenger line are vital for the Costa del Sol,” said Margarita del Cid, president of the Mancomunidad de Municipios of the western Costa del Sol. She added that extending the rail-line west was important for commuters as well as tourists.
Spain does not plan on leaving it there and further discussion and negotiation is planned. So, next stop… more confusion!