Tram service to stop if bills not paid in Velez-Malaga.

TWENTY-TWO people who work with Travelsa, the company running the Velez-Malaga trams, have been informed they will be temporarily laid off. Travelsa is owed around €2m and has made it clear that if the town hall doesn’t pay, the service from Velez-Malaga to Torre del Mar will be suspended from July 7.

The Provincial Delegate for Public Works, Enrique Benitez, and the mayor, Francisco Delgado Bonilla, met to discuss the problem, and although they want to solve the problem, the Junta de Andalucia has not been forthcoming with any funds which would help the town hall to pay the debt.

Despite the former corporation going ahead with a second section of the tram tracks, which has stood finished for more than a year without the service being operated, the tram has lost passengers every year since it first began. Last year, the tram carried 350,000 passengers less than in 2009.

Travelsa has twice threatened to suspend the service due to the debt resulting from the price to operate it and the price which the town hall set to be charged. Delgado Bonilla has said that if the Junta fails to come up with the €4.5m it promised in March this year, and which the town hall would have to pay back over 15 years, the council will come up with at least part of the money so that salaries and suppliers can be paid.

Photo credit: Jose Toro

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