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Abandoned tram stops have been vandalised over the years E. Cabezas
Coastal tram project starts moving again after eleven years of being halted

Coastal tram project starts moving again after eleven years of being halted

TRANSPORT ·

Vélez-Málaga town hall has earmarked 4.1 million euros of European funds to repair the tracks and stops, after the service came to standstill in 2012

SUR

Wednesday, 22 February 2023, 19:53

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This June will mark eleven years since Vélez-Málaga's tram, the first of its kind in Andalucía, came to a standstill. It had been in operation for just six years; from October 2006 until June 2012 and had received 40 million euros of public money, financed by the Junta de Andalucía.

The then Partido Popular mayor of Vélez-Málaga, Francisco Delgado, stopped the service it on the grounds that it was «an economic burden for the town hall».

Since 2015, his successor, the socialist Antonio Moreno Ferrer, has been trying to reactivate the service which has seen numerous acts of vandalism over the years, including damage to the stops and tracks and theft of cables. A modification in the contract approved in 2012 did not include any responsibilty for maintenance.

European funds

After a first failed attempt in 2019, when a tender for two million euros to repair the damaged infrastructure and re-establish the service was not awarded, the town hall has put out another call to tender for repair works with a budget just over four million euros; 90 per cent of which will be financed by European Next Generation funds. The remaining 10 per cent will come from the town hall.

Interested companies have until 7 March to submit their bids and once awarded the winning company will be given 18 months in which to complete the work.

In addition to this first phase of repairs, which includes the entire route from the Vélez-Málaga's bus station to Paseo de Larios in Torre del Mar, a second phase will be added to complete the work of repairing the infrastructure and the trams themselves.

The town hall has applied for another European subsidy of 3.3 million euros for the second phase of the project and municipal sources have told SUR that the response is «imminent». The town hall has said that the money will also be spent on other aspects of transport including improving cycle lanes.

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