MINISTER for Public Works, Ana Pastor, has made an important announcement regarding the AVE train line.
It comes at a crucial time for the government with political pressure building in respect of the delays in pushing the line forward. AVE had already announced the Murcia completion date as March 2015, yet any dates for Almeria had been slow in coming. There has been no progress on the train line for more than three years.
Speaking to press at an opposition PSOE party meeting before the announcement, Juan Carlos Navas Perez, PSOE representative in Almeria said: “From the PP government we have not had a single tender. This meeting is a measure of pressure to display not only the benefits of connecting Almeria with the AVE, but also with Murcia. The high-speed line would not be as profitable in the neighbouring region if it were not connected to our province.” He continued: “The arrival of the AVE to Almeria also marks the entry of Andalucia to the Mediterranean.”
However, later the same day, Pastor announced that the section of the AVE line between Pulpi and Cuevas will be open for tender at the end of October, giving the green light to progress on the high-speed line.
This is the first instalment of the AVE Murcia-Almeria to be implemented in the province, with the exception of the tunnels already built in the Sorbas area. It has a size of 12.2 kilometres and a planned budget of €86 million.
Secretary General for the PSOE in Almeria, Jose Luis Sanchez Teruel, responded to the announcement, describing it as ‘good for the province.’ Speaking to radio station Cadena SER, Teruel said: “Whatever work enables the AVE to reach the province is good for everyone,” but added: “I have to see it first. First the minister announces it and then it is to be published in the official bulletin.”
The announcement coincides with the visible progress on Parque de la Estacion in Almeria City.