Vélez-Málaga town hall approved on Monday 31 October a budget amendment to request one million euros to be able to reactivate the town’s tram service, which hasn’t operated since 2012, from a 3.7 million European funding pot. Opposition parties, the Partido Popular (PP) and Andalucía Por Sí, voted against the amendment.
"In this way we are fulfilling our commitment and political will to resume this comfortable, efficient, profitable and sustainable transport service for citizens as soon as possible," said the councillor for Transport and Mobility, Chema Domínguez.
In February, the central government approved 3.7 million euros in funding to carry out the project to rehabilitate the infrastructures and installations for the first phase of the tramway, through the European Next Generation funds.
The current coalition team insist that it was the opposition PP, who were then in power, who decided to stop the tram service in June 2012 and argues that it does not understand how "the PP tries to make the residents believe that they support the tram, but then vote against the municipal budgets".
The town hall said that they are "working to adapt the town model to the objectives of rational and sustainable development as set out in the Urban Agenda 2030, as well as through the implementation of Low Emission Zones (LEZ) and working for sustainable mobility in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and prevent and reduce the impacts of climate change".
In addition to these actions, according to the town hall, "There are projects such as the pedestrianisation of the town centre, which will continue to extend along Calle Camino de Málaga and Calle Canalejas; the implementation and extension of shared-use electric scooter stations, electric buses and the extension of green areas and cycle lanes, among other measures.”
The town hall is also waiting for a second grant of 2.7 million euros to be awarded for the second phase of the project to reinstate the tram, which never came to fruition when it was working over a decade ago, so that it will "cover a much wider area of the municipality and can replace the current public bus service in some areas, reaffirming the commitment to sustainable mobility.”
The town hall has once again appealed to the Junta de Andalucía "to assume its powers in transport with the implementation of the tram and make effective the inclusion of Vélez-Málaga in the Consortium of Transport and Metropolitan Area of Malaga, which was requested almost two years ago and has not yet received any response.”