DEAR SIR

I HAVE recently been informed by a friend that a new road eighteen metres wide, will pass, clipping the back of his home and business premises, from the road joining Portol to the cemetery at St. Maria, to the east of the airport, crossing the Carretera Manacor.

The reason given is to alleviate pressure on the Via Cintura (?) and facilitate tourist coaches travelling from Alcudia to the airport (??) !!! A sum of compensation is usually given when the government makes these compulsory purchases but it is well known that it is slow in arriving (two years is not unknown) and not renowned for being generous. My friend is a well known apiarist, running courses on beekeeping, supplying honey and bee and honey products including medicinal products to many health and natural food shops and several markets. He also specialises in growing varieties of passiflora, lavender, echinacea and rosemary.

The Portol road runs along the front of his land, and is far enough away from his bees and plants, and the building from where he runs his courses and prepares products not to be a problem - currently the back entrance is accessed by an unsurfaced quiet country lane. It will be difficult to estimate the environmental impact of a main road on his bees and plants especially if it transpires that it is heavily used.

This road building and route is proposed at a time when agriculturists and entomologists are desperately trying to find the solution to the well documented phenomenon of colony collapse in bee communities, which could threaten the availability of food production world wide. This haven of peace and quiet industry could become less popular as a base for teaching squashed between two wide roads, especially as the proposed road could actually cut off the bottling room, vehicles passing outside the office and kitchen windows during lectures two metres inside the building? Who can calculate the required compensation for all of this?

The proposal for this is buried deep in the 500 page four year plan including an outer ring road from Arenal passing as deep inland as Al Campo, and was passed as a package by the government on December 3rd 09.

As far as I can understand, tourist coaches can quite easily travel along the Inca Sineu road then travel on to the Manacor road using existing links and travelling less distance! As Al Campo is only a few kilometres further on down the autopista from St. Maria there seems to be no reason whatsoever to carve up yet more countryside for the sake of another side road, especially one so wide.

I'm sure no-one really wants to see more provision for high speed coaches whizzing through virgin countryside, even if this route is to be used, and not left as another little known about section of road. Tourism is an important aspect of the economy here but there are sufficient opportunities for tourists arriving on the island to view the beauty of the countryside on existing routes. By the time the island is cris - crossed with roads to facilitate the easy transport of tourists from every point to every point there will be little to attract tourists to the island apart from cheap bars.

We are supposed to be taking care of our environment and if the government were really concerned with this they could spend the money on people to research for, and the equipment necessary, to improve public transport. This helps to reduce congestion, provide long term employment, and the environmental aspects as in environmentally aware transport designs can be controlled.

Whose money is paying for these roads, anyway? Local government? Consell de Mallorca? Madrid? EU?
Suggestion: agitate for further enquiries into these latest proposals. Surely there is still a possibility for further discussion and possible change of plan.

Amanda Kelly

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