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Balearics to limit cars and motorcycles in Formentera but not Mallorca 

PAGE 18 Balearics to limit cars  and motorcycles in Formentera but not Mallorca

The small Balearic island of Formentera is to limit the number of cars from 2019 because of “saturation” but Mallorca will NOT be following its example.

This was confirmed by Minister of Territory, Energy and Mobility, Marc Pons following the announcement that a special law is being drawn up as a matter of urgency to keep cars and motorcycles in check in Formentera.

The pretty island, with a population of just under 13,000 but nearly 50,000 in the summer, is all in favour of the measures which would see a limit on the entry and circulation of vehicles and a maximum number of cars and motorcycles for rent.

The idea is being hailed as a pioneer in Spain and Europe and is being drawn up “as a matter of urgency” under special measures.

The permanent fleet of vehicles on Formentera a-mounts to 20,700 units -10,750 resident cars, 8,000 motor-cycles and 2,000 rental cars- but in the summer months, this can shoot up to 50,800 vehicles, an increase of 145 per cent of cars and motorcycles circulating on a road network of just 38.5 kilometres. Saturation problems are compounded by the 1,295 vehicles that arrive on average every day on the island by sea during the summer months from Ibiza or Denia in Alicante.

A study carried out during the first fortnight of August 2017 shows that the intensity of the traffic has increased over the last eight years and that the island suffers congestion in the summer.

The Balearic government is currently drafting a law which would “ensure the environ-mental and economic sustainability of Formentera.”

As well as limitations on the entry of vehicles and a maximum number of rental vehicles, the use of electric cars and motorcycles in both the public and private sectors would be encouraged.

There would be exemptions for residents’ vehicles, public transport and vehicles for people with reduced mobility. Cars wishing to enter Formentera may have to ask for permission in advance and there would be a cap in areas of natural or historic heritage.

It will be up to Formentera’s own council to decide on capping numbers. A system of displaying cards in vehicle windows will help the authority identify where the cars come from, if they are owned by a resident or a hire vehicle. An inspector will be appointed and anyone caught breaking the rules would be fined.