A LAST-MINUTE plan to redirect the Mediterranean Corridor along the coast has hit the buffers.
The proposal by the new PP government to take the line from Almeria to Algeciras, via Malaga, has been turned down by the EU.
Brussels refuses to finance the extra cost for the coastal line, which would need over 40 new tunnels.
It has instead backed the original line via Granada and Antequera, which threatens one of Ronda’s key tourist valleys.
The project has now been fast-tracked at a meeting of European transport heads, who passed the original plan laid down last year by the old PSOE government.
It means that Marbella will remain the only town in Spain with over 100,000 residents that does not have railway access.
The government has insisted this is not the end of the line for the project and that it will continue to push for this route.
It insists that the logical route is to take in the key ports of Motril and Malaga, as well as providing a fast AVE rail service along the coast from Barcelona to Algeciras.
It also argues that a rail link along the Costa del Sol past Fuengirola to Estepona is vital for the region.
Objections will be debated in the European Parliament later this year.