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Passengers on board a packed Cercanías train on the Costa del Sol. Ñito Salas
Spain's central government summons regional and provincial leaders and Costa del Sol mayors to first train line extension meeting
SUR coastal train campaign

Spain's central government summons regional and provincial leaders and Costa del Sol mayors to first train line extension meeting

The crucial meeting will take place in Malaga on 17 July and it is a significant step in the fight to extend the rail line to Marbella, Estepona and beyond

Ignacio Lillo

Malaga

Wednesday, 3 July 2024, 13:57

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Spain's central government has called a meeting to discuss the prospect of extending the Malaga - Fuengirola coastal train line further along the western strip of the Costa del Sol to Marbella, Estepona and even beyond.

It will be the first gathering between central government, the Junta de Andalucía regional government, Diputación de Málaga provincial authority and Costa del Sol mayors on the issue which has been a hot topic, especially since 7 June, before the European elections, when officials rectified its position on the train line debate and announced it would discuss the issue with local institutions.

The meeting will take place on 17 July in Malaga, with a time and place still to be decided. Minister for development Rocío Díaz, Malaga mayor Francisco de la Torre, Marbella mayor Ángeles Muñoz and provincial authority president Francisco Salado have been invited. The announcement was made this Wednesday on the radio station SER (later confirmed by SUR), although this newspaper can reveal official invitations have not yet reached the offices of some of these leaders.

Spain's ministry of transport said "Malaga and the Junta already know the date", and the local administrations will certainly include the Diputación and the mayors of Malaga and Marbella. As for the rest of the affected municipalities, especially Estepona, whose mayor, José María García Urbano, is particularly involved in the cause, the ministerial spokesman said they are open to reaching a consensus on a list, which is already being discussed with the Junta. "When the list is ready, they will be notified."

Secretary of state for transport José Antonio Santano will chair the meeting, while the ministry of public works of the regional government will co-chair.

The ministry of transport intends to discuss with the other administrations the social, economic and environmental viability of the project, based on the population that would be served, where there is no doubt there would be a strong demand; the cost and its environmental impact.

Ministry officials consider the document prepared by the ARCS consultancy firm for Malaga city hall, the provincial authority and Unicaja, which has served as the starting point for this movement, is "insufficient", and this first meeting aims to achieve a greater level of detail, and to agree on the necessary studies.

Petition for the coastal train

The demand for the project is evident, particularly following SUR's launch of a petition for the extention of the train line along the Costa del Sol. The campaign launched on 10 June, just after the European elections, has already reached 26,000 signatures, and continues to grow.

Signing the petition

The form, in Spanish, will ask you for your name, surname, ID number (DNI/NIE/passport), email address and location. It offers you the option to authorise that your support be made visible to others and to receive information on other campaigns and events organised by SUR. Finally it asks you to fill in the numbers visible in an image before you can click on the red Firmar Petición at the foot of the page.

Among those who have signed are some 50 representatives, managers and personalities from the world of business, tourism, transport, public works and new technologies.

This level of reach highlights the resounding support of Malagueños, foreign residents (who can also sign it using their passport numbers) and visitors. The petition, promoted by SUR, has been kept alive throughout this time on social networks, where it continues to be shared and supported daily by hundreds of active users concerned about the lack of rail transport along the entire coastline of Malaga.

The petition, which can be signed here, points out that the coastal strip of the Costa del Sol has grown significantly with one and a half million registered inhabitants, to which must be added the 14 million tourists who visit each year, and the tens of thousands of temporary residents, both national and foreign.

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