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Provincial government presents plan to combat rural depopulation

The plan was officially presented this week.
The plan was officially presented this week. / SUR
  • The plan, called 'Vía-able' includes improvements to inland roads and will cost 50 million euros over the next ten years

In the past few months, and especially with the general elections coming up, the debate has resumed again on 'empty Spain', the depopulation problem that affects rural areas all over the country, and Malaga is no exception.

With this in mind, the ‘Diputación’, or provincial government, has designed a mobility plan called ‘Plan Vía-able’ to combat the problem, and it was officially presented this week. The aim is to improve road connections for more than 40 small municipalities in the province; it will be applied to 42 rural roads and will cost just over 50 million euros over ten years.

Plan Vía-ble was presented by the president of the Diputación, Francisco Salado, and the head of Public Works and Infrastructure, Francisco Oblaré. They described it as the most important action against rural depopulation, and announced that one million euros have been budgeted this year for the plans to be drawn up.

Financing

The plan will be financed through the remaining funds in the treasury, thanks to the healthy situation of the Diputación coffers. “Good road communications make people who live in inland villages feel less isolated and enable them to travel to health centres, shops or take part in leisure activities more easily. It is a way of improving their quality of life”, said Salado.

Many of the roads are the responsibility of local town halls, while others are managed by the Junta de Andalucía. The idea is to shorten travel times between villages and from rural areas to the coast. As an example Salado referred to villages in the Serranía de Ronda such as Pujerra, where journey time to the coast has been reduced by half an hour. Another benefit is that the plan will provide alternative routes for villages which at present have only one access road.