As Vélez-Málaga Town Hall prepares to refurbish the tranvía infrastructure, the mayor hopes that the incoming administration in Andalucía will support its efforts to reopen the public transport system. The tramway service between Vélez and Torre del Mar was closed in 2012 in the face of spiralling debts.
However, although the Junta de Andalucía has publicly pledged to subsidise the operation of the tranvía to the tune of 40 per cent, a formal agreement between the town hall and the regional government has not been finalised. Despite this, the mayor of Vélez, Antonio Moreno Ferrer, says he is confident that the new administration, whatever its political make-up following December’s regional elections, will continue to support the system.
Transport councillor Marcelino Méndez-Trelles appears even more upbeat. Discussing the possibility of a right-leaning coalition replacing the former socialist group controlling Andalucía, he said this would bring the opportunity for “even better benefits” and the possibility of negotiating joint management of the service.
Meanwhile, the town hall is expected to continue with plans to invite tenders for refurbishment of the existing tramway infrastructure which has a budget of almost €2 million, half a million more than originally estimated. The work will take a minimum of six months, according to Méndez-Trelles, so trams will not be running again in the first half of 2019. The cost is being met from the €10 million grant awarded to the municipality by a European programme, the Strategy for Sustainable Integrated Urban Development (EDUSI), and will involve no local or regional financial input.