Parking near to Marbella's Palacio de Congresos looks certain to get a little easier as the town hall works on adding 84 spaces in a 2,300 square-metre plot next door to the building, on the western edge of the centre of the resort.
Work is expected to be completed by the middle of January and cost 197,000 euros. The investment is part of the municipal-wide parking improvement plan.
On a visit to the site, councillor for Works, Diego López, explained that the new car park will be free to the public and be available for nearby businesses and a neighbouring hotel to use. The work includes asphalting and a surrounding wall, and some existing trees and bushes on the site have been removed. New energy-saving LED lighting will also be installed to "save money".
The council's parking improvement plan, which is being rolled out at different points in the municipal area, will include 1,200 new spaces in its first phase.
Christmas event suffered
However, while the new car park at the congress centre is being laid out, ironically parking has got worse, as the site, previously wasteland, was used as a temporary parking space before. This has affected some events at the centre including the recent Cáritas charity Christmas market. Organisers of the event said it had been harder to sell tickets this year and 12 per cent fewer people came than last year.
The new car park, once finished, will be the first to have charging stations for electric and hybrid cars. Marbella is aiming to be the Spanish municipality with most charging points per inhabitant as part of its parking master plan.