I was in a taxi this week caught in an enormous tailback next to the Son Espases hospital in Palma. I joked with the driver that it must be all the hired cars which were causing the problems. It was a rather droll joke because there are very few hired cars circulating around the city at the moment and the problem is “home grown vehicles.”
During the summer month it is always the rent-a-cars which get the blame for the traffic chaos but in the winter who is to blame? Well the simple answer is that there are just too many cars on the road and unless the local authorities take action soon then the problem is just going to get even more pronounced.
The Via Cintura ring road and the roads leading to the industrial estate are just packed with vehicles during the morning and the same can be said of the roads around some of the schools in Palma. The local authorities have encouraged more people to use public transport but they have failed miserably. Most families have at least two cars. There is no simple fix but soon the local authorities are going to come under pressure to start a road building programme something which environmentalists will bitterly object to.
A decade ago there was talk of a second ring road being built around Palma, perhaps this plan will have to be revived once again. As the taxi driver said if the roads are busy in winter, in summer it will be a nightmare. But at least in the summer there is someone to blame. Tourists are completely blameless, but they are a good scapegoat.