MARBELLA – Those who regularly use the N-340 between Mijas and Marbella know the problem: the almost daily traffic jams at San Pedro during rush hour or as a result of yet another accident. With the growing number of residents, the problems are also increasing in other places.
New urbanisations are being built everywhere and where many apartments in existing urbanisations used to be empty for a large part of the year, they are increasingly occupied by permanent residents.
As a result, long queues of cars wait at the various ramps to get a spot among the passing, closely packed vehicles. At other times, traffic rushes past at high speeds, while the person merging has to do so from a standstill. Consequently, accidents occur regularly.
These traffic jams and accidents, which are a recurring problem throughout the year, only increase in the summer season with hundreds of thousands of seasonal visitors. It is a thorn in the side of many residents and also politicians.
Daily traffic jams
There is a daily traffic jam in both directions between Puerto Banús and San Pedro de Alcántara. In recent years, congestion has also increased on the section of the A-7 between Río Real and Elviria in the Las Chapas district. These traffic jams usually take place in the direction of Cádiz in the morning and towards Málaga in the afternoon.
Impact on businesses
José González is president of the association of companies and the self-employed CIT Marbella and says in the newspaper SUR that the mobility problems Marbella faces have a major impact on companies. Employees are late for work, certain actions take much more time due to traffic jams and it is not good for the image of the city. Therefore, he pleads for solutions to tackle the traffic problems.
One of the suggested solutions by the business association Apymem is to release the AP-7 toll road. This could relieve the coastal road N-340 to a large extent. Lawyers consulted by Sur say that this solution is, however, very complex from a legal point of view. A reduction in rates would be more feasible.
Alternative routes between urbanisations
On the eve of local elections on May 28, politicians present their solutions. Below are alternative routes to improve mobility between urbanisations without having to use the highway. This could happen between Las Chapas, La Campaña and Nagüeles. These connections are already included in the PGOM (Municipal Plan for Spatial Planning).
Fast bus connections
A fast bus connection between Marbella and San Pedro and between Cabopino and Guadalmina is also being considered, with space for pedestrians, but also for people with bicycles. These should be combined with circular lines to overcome the height differences in certain urbanisations. Finally, solutions with microbuses or self-driving buses for intermediate urbanisations are being considered.
Coastal train extension
For years, extending the Cercanías train between Málaga and Fuengirola has also been a dream solution for mobility problems in the seaside resort. Marbella is one of the few municipalities in Spain with more than 100,000 inhabitants that do not have a train connection. The platform Tren Litoral (coastal train) and various politicians have been advocating for this for years. ‘The majority of tourists arriving at Málaga airport go to Marbella. If they can do this via a fast train connection in the future, it will only benefit tourism and the economy,’ say the advocates for the train connection.
In January, the government of Andalucia claimed part of the EU’s Next Generation funds. Among the proposals for which the government would use EU money are those to extend the coastal train from Fuengirola via Marbella to Algeciras. This would require €2 billion.