Users of the underground car park at the Hospital Costa del Sol in Marbella no longer have to pay parking fees considered by many to be excessive.
The car park now belongs to the Costa del Sol Health Agency, a subsidiary of the Junta de Andalucía. Profits until now had been going to the concession holder for the long-delayed expansion works at the hospital, Concesionaria Costa del Sol S.A.
The handover took place this week following the Junta's payment of 12 million euros in April to tear up the contract, which had granted the concession holder control of the car park for 40 years.
From Monday 20 May use of the car park is completely free for two weeks. However, it has been announced that once a new operation contract comes into force, users will have to pay one euro per 12 hours.
The car park had been the principal cause of the hospital extension work being held up. The contractors decided to halt works nine years ago after Marbella town hall refused to comply with the Junta's arrangement, turning down permission to install barriers and charge users to park every time they came to the hospital.