For Malaga's greater good

For Malaga's greater good

Decisions must be taken to prevent the Malaga metropolitan area collapsing - it's already late

Ignacio Lillo

Friday, 13 October 2023, 17:08

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Greater Malaga, which is the union of the city and its growing metropolitan area, resembles Alice's white rabbit, walking in haste while holding a pocket watch and shouting: "Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!" For, although it is a newborn concept, as they say, it is already late, and what's worse, it has a long way to go to get back on track.

The regional ministry for development and infrastructure has sensibly built the idea into its metropolitan transport plan, which was approved recently after several years of paperwork and the insistence of locals, who basically want more metro lines.

This makes sense: few would have dared to say a few months after the metro extension opened to the city centre that it was going to be necessary to add more trains and improve frequencies at rush hour because people are left at stations unable to get on due to lack of space.

A plan to extend the metro is already under way (at least on paper) as far as the new hospital, and the first section will be built by a Malaga company, Sando, which is another piece of good news. But we have to start designing the next line, which in my opinion should reach El Palo and Rincón de la Victoria.

The Junta has said it will study the options carefully, as alternatives could be a Cercanía's line, tram or even metrobus. And public resources, which are scarce, should obviously be managed in the best way possible. But we can't just sit back now and enjoy the beauty of the plan (almost 280 pages, which I've read ) - we need to get to work today.

A study of alternatives does not take so long, given that we have good consultants and the metro operating company itself, which knows perfectly well where the numbers are for running its trains.

And if it cannot be by metro, because the numbers do not add up, and it is better to do it by train or with more buses, even if we have to build another road, it is urgent to decide as soon as possible, because the residents of El Palo, Rincón de la Victoria and Vélez have the right to sustainable mobility that right now is being denied them, because there are no real alternatives to the car and the daily tailbacks.

It is all very well to extend towards the hospital, but this section cannot take up all the efforts of the Junta between now and 2027, when it is supposed to be finished, when it is actually a fairly cheap investment, compared to the new Seville metro line, where, the government is going to be putting in a fair whack.

Decisions must be taken to prevent the Malaga metropolitan area collapsing and, even then, as the white rabbit might say, we are already too late.

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