The various business groups, the neighbors and from the area of the administration of the city of Marbella claim one solution to historical traffic jams that occur in its accesses, mainly at the height of San Pedro Alcántara, where the burial works have turned out to be insufficient and most of the people consulted point to an agreement with the highway concessionaire to relieve traffic congestion on the A-7 Mediterranean Highway, at least in emergency situations.
The deputy mayor of San Pedro, Javier García, has indicated that the population passes along the highway as it passes through the nucleusclose to one hundred thousand medium-intensity vehicles per day”assuring that after carrying out the burial works “they arose Vehicle retentions that have been increasing over the years” causing “collapse both first thing in the morning and in the afternoon.”
For this reason, the municipal official has remarked “the need to find a solution, since San Pedro “is considered by the Ministry as one of the main black spots in terms of traffic delays”, what “affects to economic activity and people’s lives”. As he pointed out, the situation is going to increase due to the urban development of areas such as Estepona, San Pedro, Marbella, Manilva or Campo de Gibraltar, and “the population is growing”.
García has highlighted that since 2017, in a plenary agreement, “the need to draft the project of a third road in each direction” on the highway as it passes through San Pedro, which would also include “construction of a pedestrian walkway that will connect Nueva Andalucía with Puerto Banús”, also due to the “accident rate” that is registered in the area.
As he stressed, “it is necessary to drafting of said project, which has not been drafted”, recalling that in 2022 another proposal was approved in plenary to “require the Government of Spain to respond with a feasibility study, drafting of a project and execution of the third rail from Puerto Banus.
Thus, he has stated that “political will is needed” and the “necessary investment”, for which reason it has requested the State to undertake a similar action as the one carried out in Arroyo de la Miel to respond “to the quality of life of the residents, of those who visit us and to economic activity”.
In this sense, he has abounded that “the pendulum movements between Marbella and San Pedro they are behind” with the retentions, which cause “arrive late to work, to medical appointments or in public bodies”, while adding that “they affect public urban transport”, as well as “the goods and construction materials, to productivity or reduction of working hours”. In tourism, he has indicated that it creates problems in “air travel.”
In his opinion, one of the solutions would go through “promoting collective public transport” and another by “open to the public free of charge the motorway”, although he has indicated that “it is not easy” due to the concession, for which he has suggested that in emergency situations it should be opened.
For his part, the Executive Vice President of the Association of Hotel Entrepreneurs of the Costa del Sol (Aehcos), Javier Hernández, has alluded to the problems of “traffic congestion from Los Pacos, in Fuengirola, in the direction of Estepona to the Benahavís junction”, as well as vice versa in the afternoon in the direction of Malaga, which “exists in low season on a recurring and repetitive basis”. To this he has added the mobility problems that are registered on the highway “between the Sohail castle and Cala de Mijas, which is a bottleneck” or in San Pedro Alcántara.
The situation worsens in high season
The hotelier has indicated that this situation “gets worse when there is a breakdown” like the overturning of a truck that occurred last summer, which generated retentions of more than 13 kilometers; as well as in high season, when withholdings occur “every day in both directions”. In his words, “this affects transportation, work and employees.” In this way, he has assessed that “the administrations should carry out a specific study of the situation” and “evaluate the volume of workers moving between Malaga city and Marbella together with the intermediate areas”, since the General State Budgets “only contemplate an item of 80,000 euros to carry out previous studies on the coastal train”.
Hernández has pointed to “alternative routes” through the highway or the “rescue of the concession” to solve the collapse of the highway. In this sense, he has indicated that from Aehcos they are “in talks with the concessionaire to take measures”, since the sector is “very affected by the volume of workers who move between municipalities” with “delays or CO2 emissions with stopped vehicles”. As alternatives, it aims to “create parking bags, share vehicles or specific cranes” for cases of breakdown.
The vice president of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises of San Pedro Alcántara (Apymespa), Piedad del Río, has indicated that the population center “It has always been a black spot until they made the tunnel”with which “the traffic jam has been somewhat less”, in addition to complaining about the entrance accesses with “a giant roundabout with thousands of very dissuasive possibilities”.
The “tremendous collapse” in San Pedro
Del Río has assessed that the difficulty to access San Pedro affects commerce because “the entrance is more difficult”, as well as “parking”, so “the stores suffer from the lack of people who can come”. Although he sees a solution as difficult, he has asked that it be “studied”. “There would have to be some technicians with whom we could meet to study how it could be solved,” he added.
From the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises of Marbella (APYMEM), they have indicated that the situation of collapse suffered by the highway is “tremendous”, where “a bottleneck” is generated between exits 175 and 172, being “a section that absorbs all the traffic that comes from the Costa del Oriental, with about 8 additions” and that “at certain times it is very slow”, as it happens in the direction of Marbella between San Pedro and Puerto Banús.
As they have indicated, in summer this situation “worsens even more”, while they have highlighted that since the burial was carried out “not much improvement has been noticed”, since in “the stretch before San Pedro is where most traffic is concentrated”. In this way, they have highlighted as solutions the “build more lanes” or that the “liberalization of the motorway would be the most beneficial”.
The president of the Center for Tourist Initiatives (CIT) Marbella, Juan José González, regretted that “We continue after many years without being connected by rail” Y that the highway “is collapsed at many times of the year, we suffer numerous traffic jams.” This means “loss of working hours and our employees cannot always arrive on time”, as well as “delays in the delivery of goods and services”.
On the other hand, he has alluded to the fact that “traffic jams give a undesirable image for a high-level tourist destination and of high standards such as Marbella”, for which he has remarked that “the administration should arbitrate measures that facilitate trafficking” What “reach an agreement with the highway concessionaire so that part of the traffic is diverted there by way of subsidies to carriers”. In addition, he has added that “the train should be an option that is considered, although we know that it will take years and years.”
Laura Domínguez lives in the district of Nueva Andalucía and every day she travels to Marbella to go to her job, and suffers from “arriving late at work or home” problems. “You waste time of your life going and coming back”, which he has calculated in “an hour and a half a week” or “you spend more gasoline in traffic jams”, he lamented. Sara Liébana lives in San Pedro and works in Nueva Andalucía, “not arriving at work on time” is one of the inconveniences of traffic. Both are committed to “opening the highway toll” as a solution.