by Jason Moore

THE Palma city council is considering increasing parking fees in the centre of the capital in a bid to reduce traffic. I suspect that this is an attempt by the council to just raise money but I am sure that motorists will not be impressed. In some ways the council is right. There are just too many vehicles in the centre of Palma and I am told that pollution levels, in some areas, are high. But what the council should be doing is trying to get more people to use public transport. I would say that Palma´s network of buses is first class and the capital is very lucky to have it. All the buses are new and comfortable and fares are relatively low. They also run on time. So why don´t more people take the bus? Well, the car is king in Majorca. This island still has one of the largest fleets of vehicles per capita of any area in the world. Until the council takes radical action and actually penalises motorists for using their vehicle in the centre of Palma this state of affairs will continue which is a great shame. An air quality report calls on the council to reduce the speed limit on the city´s ring road to 100 kilometres an hour because pollution levels are out of control. This clearly underlines that pollution is now becoming a problem in the city and it is time for the council to act. But please, no more cycle tracks. These have been a dismal failure and have just eaten up sizeable parts of Palma´s pavements. Public transport is the answer, it is as simple as that. Buses not cars should be king in Palma.