The final shape of the extension to Málaga’s metro system appears to have been decided. The line is planned to run from the city centre to the area which is home to both the Hospital Materno Infantil and the Hospital Civil, although there has been fierce debate about whether the final stretch should continue underground, or run above ground.

Agreement appears to have been reached on extending the metro fully underground, now that the regional government and the city of Málaga are both controlled by the Partido Popular. Until the regional election last year, Andalucía was controlled by the socialist PSOE party, a situation which led to numerous disagreements with the city authorities. Announcing the decision last month, the Regional leader Juanma Moreno and Málaga’s mayor Francisco de la Torre have bee talked of loyalty, transparency and cooperation between the two bodies.

The new metro line, an extension to the existing Line 2, will run from Guadalmedina station, near El Corte Inglés, 1.8 kilometres north to the Hospital Civil with three stops along the way. The completely subterranean route will increase the total cost from €41 million, when an overland section was planned, to about €150 million, according to the Public Works Ministry.

It will have increasing importance because a large area next to the Hospital Civil, presently used for car parking, is expected to be the site of a major new hospital for the province. This will add 840 beds and 49 operating theatres to the city’s health care capacity. The hospital construction project is expected to get underway soon and work is scheduled to be complete by late 2022.