THE controversial tram of Velez Malaga is again in the spotlight as it’s currently undergoing a service even though there are no definite plans for its future.
With a budget of €40 million, the tram service became operational in 2006 but was interrupted in 2012 due to high annual costs. Later, in July of 2013 it was leased out to Sydney (Australia), where it was to stay for two years. However, it made a surprise return to the town at the end of 2014.
The mayor explained then that the council hoped to resume the service, although the high costs would make this impossible unless the Junta de Andalucia regional government paid 75 per cent (about €3 million) of the deficit.
Workers have been performing a comprehensive service on the trams for the past two weeks, even though the council does not have plans to re-launch the service yet.
“We have requested a meeting with the new head of the Development Department of the regional government, Francisco Fernandez España, to know the Junta’s stance on this matter,” said the mayor, who claimed that the Junta has not yet answered any of his requests and admitted that bringing back the tram service before his term in office concludes is not amongst his priorities.
In fact, the council has not yet allocated any money in the municipal budget of 2015 to fixing the damage caused to the tram’s infrastructure, and some of the money originally earmarked to issues related to it has been spent on other works and services around town.