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Puerto Banus Modernisation Plans

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Puerto Banus Modernisation Plans Go Ahead

Feb 28, 2017
Brexit-stunned British expats may be worrying about their future in Spain, but up and down the Costa del Sol town councils are pressing ahead with modernisation projects that should ensure the future of Andalucia as a top European holiday destination.  Brits still dreaming of retiring to Spain may have to revise their dreams downwards to buying Marbella holiday homes instead of  retirement villas, but as far as local authorities are concerned, it's tourism business as usual, Brexit or no Brexit.

Following a recent survey, Marbella Council has begun work on modernisations in Puerto Banus, one of the most popular Costa del Sol destinations for foreign house buyers. Main streets and pavements are to be repaired and enhanced, wherever necessary. Avenida Julio Iglesias is the first to get a facelift with a new 800-metre-long cycle lane that will be running through the centre of Puerto Banus to encourage use of environmentally friendly modes of transport.

Councillor Blanca Fernández explained that the cycle lane and improved pedestrian zones will replace all those of Puerto Banus' current road surfaces and pavements that are in obvious need of repair. The cycle lane idea came in second place, when Spanish and expats residents voted in a local questionnaire for ten possible sustainable construction projects to be carried out in Marbella during 2017. The chosen projects are to be completed within four months and Marbella Council is investing 300,000 euros to make the plans happen.  

Until now, anyone trying to traverse Puerto Banus by bike has had to negotiate very busy vehicular traffic. The new cycle lane should solve this issue, said Miguel Díaz, town councillor for Transport, and provide cyclists with safe access to coastal pathways and the promenade.

New Hospital for Estepona

While Britain's economy has benefited greatly from the 3 million eager EU migrants who arrived to work in the United Kingdom, Spain has had to cope with unwanted side effects caused by one of Britain's most successful exports: pensioners. Elderly Brits may have initially been popular as holiday and permanent home buyers, but they soon posed a bit of a problem, when small local hospitals could no longer cope with the numbers of older residents seeking treatment. 

In Estepona, a neighbouring town of Marbella, the town hall has now made 17.7 million euros available for the construction of a new hospital. Estepona town hall and SAS, the Andalusian health authority, signed an agreement at the end of 2016 that has enabled the local authority to start building the new medical facility. 

Construction is scheduled to be completed in 22 months, which means the hospital could open for “business” in mid-2019. By that time Britain's pensioners may no longer need Spanish health care, since the falling Pound drastically reduces UK pensions, when converted into Euros; even if the EU allows them to stay, the poor currency exchange may force older Brits to return home, after the United Kingdom exits the European Union officially in 2019.

The agreement signed by Estepona town hall and SAS states that the town hall's funding pays not only for the new hospital but also for the urbanisation of the surrounding area, while the health authority will be responsible for fitting out the new hospital and for paying running and maintenance costs, after the hospital opens in 2019.

Plans for a new hospital had to be put on ice for some six years, after archaeological finds were discovered during a preliminary assessment of the plot where the buildings will now be constructed. 

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