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The authorities signed pacts to support this infrastructure, the last one in November 2023. Javier Martín
Granada train link project to coast left out of EU's trans-European transport plan
Transport

Granada train link project to coast left out of EU's trans-European transport plan

Now local business leaders, politicians and Motril's port authority are looking for new ways to fund the project

Pilar García-Trevijano

Granada

Wednesday, 1 May 2024, 15:12

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The European Parliament has given the final approval to the revision of the plan for the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), which excludes the Granada-Motril railway connection from this new regulation that will define communications in the continent until 2050. Now local business leaders, politicians and Motril's port authority are looking for new ways to fund the project.

This revision of the European transport network was negotiated during the Spanish Presidency of the EU Council. The 27 countries decided to prioritise the completion of works on already planned rail corridors, including connections to Ukraine and Moldova, which were previously excluded from the passenger and freight plan. Europe is focusing on cross-border roads, railways, bridges and tunnels in order to address outstanding connections.

By 2030 the so-called core network, which includes the Mediterranean Corridor that runs through Granada from Antequera to Almeria, must be completed, while the overall network is set to be finished by 2050. The new regulation, voted on Wednesday in the European Parliament, was approved with 565 votes in favour, 37 votes against and 29 abstentions. The Spanish PP, Vox and Unidas Podemos voted against the amendment. The session brought to an end two years of negotiations and requests from countries to be included in the route.

The president of Motril's port authority José García Fuentes said that despite the European decision he will continue to try to make the railway a reality and that the government will demonstrate its support "in words" that it has given publicly on several occasions.

One of the main reasons for rejecting the proposal for the Granada-Motril line has been that Europe has not technically studied the feasibility of the project and neither has any administration, a line that Brussels has used to discard requests among the thousands of proposals received.

The Granada train only has a feasibility study developed by the University of Granada, valued at between 2,467 and 2,647 million euros. "We are going to ask the Spanish government to develop a functional study on this connection," said García Fuentes, who considers that there has been a lack of political will in the development of the project.

The government representative in Granada José Antonio Montilla Martos has reiterated the government's commitment and has called for the project to get the go-ahead. "The non-inclusion of the Motril-Granada railway network in the trans-European transport network, despite the amendments, is bad news for Granada. From the government we will continue working to achieve it with all the actors," he stressed.

Political pacts

Julio Rodríguez, president of the Motril Chamber of Commerce and member of the platform for coastal infrastructures, pointed out that a meeting has been requested with the ministry of transport to address the issue. "The pressure from the province must continue," he said. "It is not acceptable that because of political pacts investments go to some regions and not to strategic projects. What we need never arrives and they offer us what we don't need," he commented.

The socialist PSOE group in Granada considers that the railway connection between Granada and Motril "is a matter of utmost interest" and that "we must remember that it was the socialist delegation in the European Parliament who managed to have it taken into account. We are not giving up on the train, we will continue working to advance this railway project", the PSOE secretary general José Entrena told Ideal, SUR's sister newspaper.

Carlos Rojas, deputy for Granada in Congress for the Partido Popular (PP) group, described the situation for Granada and the whole of Spain as a "setback". He went on to say that Motril port "is the only one" that doesn't have a railway and that "it must be given one".

He concluded, "The PP will make this issue a priority because it is essential that it becomes a reality and that there is funding because the future of the next generations is at stake."

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