Any hope that the rail extension from Fuengirola to Marbella would be carried out as part of EU Covid-19 spending appeared to be dashed this week.
The government has included just 82,930 euros for an ongoing study of the long-hoped-for scheme in its draft national budget for 2021, which was presented this week. This almost certainly means that the project will not be ready to take advantage of the upcoming EU cash injection.
In total, 195 million euros of infrastructure spend is earmarked directly for Malaga province, including the Costa del Sol, in 2021. Malaga is among the provinces with the lowest level of planned expenditure.
Among the rail schemes that are included are: a shortcut rail curve in Cordoba province which will reduce journey times from Malaga to Seville; and, in the province itself, improvements to the Bobadilla (Antequera) to Algeciras rail line so more freight can be moved along it.
The good news locally is that the northern spur road from Malaga Airport to the A-7 outer ring road and Alhaurín de la Torre should finally be started, as 13.38 million euros has been allocated, which is half the total cost.
Funds are also being set aside to start work on the Provincial Library, in the old San Agustín Convent next to the Picasso Museum; continued renovation of the older T-2 terminal at the airport; and finishing the junction widening at the A-7/AP-7 Arroyo de la Miel exit.
Other items in the national spending plans, which will be debated by MPs in coming weeks, include improving the water desalination plant in Marbella and better sewage treatment for some villages in the Ronda mountains.