By Joe Chivers,
THE troubled Velez-Malaga tram operation could be back in service as soon as next year.
The 5km coastal line was closed in June 2012 and the trams leased to the Australian city of Sydney.
The lease was originally for two years, but they spent just 17 months away from Spain before being returned recently.
Now the Mayor of Velez-Malaga, Francisco Delgado Bonilla, hopes to have the service back up and running in 2015.
The Spanish Court of Auditors, the country’s supreme accounting body, has requested backdated information from Velez-Malaga Town Hall to aid an audit of the operation. Bonilla said other tramways are undergoing a similar audit, including those in Zaragoza and Jaen.
The Malaga-Velez service ran between 2006 and 2012, until high running costs and underwhelming passenger figures forced its closure.
The mayor hopes to secure an agreement from Madrid to help finance restoration of the service.
“The local government does want the tram, but we cannot take on its use with municipal funds,” he said.