The mayor of Fuengirola, Ana Mula, has voiced her concern about the delay in the progression of the remodelling works of the town’s train station. Mula, who visited the station last week, along with representatives of that state-owned company Red Nacional de Ferrocarriles Españoles (Renfe), said she was disappointed that the work, which began in June, had “not shown any signs of progress”.
The initial execution period for the project was nine months, although the company responsible for the works and Renfe have now announced that the renovations will not be complete until July 2022.
The project, which has a budget of 2,636,590 euros, includes the renovation of the station’s facilities and improved access for those with mobility restrictions. The work is affecting the entire station and will involve the installation of a new elevator and escalators, along with designated routes for those with visual impairment.
The difficulties the work has caused to passengers with mobility problems has infuriated many locals, some of whom claim that access is "almost impossible".
Fuengirola resident Carolyne Bacon told SUR in English that the station has been “in an appalling state for some months now”.
"Some of the station has been closed off for works, although there doesn’t appear to be any work in progress. The internal downward escalator has been out of action for months, so it is very difficult for those of us with mobility problems. The entrance lift to the station is also blocked off, so I cannot see how a person in a wheelchair would be able to access the station at all," she said.
Mula said that she was aware of the problems the renovations were causing and that she hoped the new completion date would be met, “because it is tremendously necessary for Fuengirola”.
"We are talking about a transport line widely used by local residents, tourists and visitors, which connects us with the airport, the capital and other towns on the Costa del Sol. However, I note with concern that, after five months of work, we are not yet seeing the fruits of this action. I have raised the subject with representatives of Renfe, who have assured me that the works will be finished in July 2022,” she said.
The mayor is also calling for the frequency of the service (currently every 20 minutes) to be increased to every ten minutes. She has also demanded that the government find an “immediate solution” to the current strikes that are resulting in cancellations to some of the Cercanias services.
"The unpredictability of the government must not harm the thousands of travellers and tourists that use towns like ours. Pedro Sánchez has to do something now and stop postponing the solution," she insisted.