AS many of you will have noticed the main ring-roads around Palma are close to gridlock at certain key times of the day.

If you take into account that thousands of people are still on furlough and there are few tourists about it puts the problem into even greater perspective.

Usually, the local authorities blame tourists and their hired cars for causing the traffic problems. Tourists are easy targets and, yes, during the peak summer months and during normal times there are a large number of hired vehicles on the road.

But not this year. So will the local authorities admit that the ring-road needs to be enlarged or that they have lost the battle to get local people to leave their cars at home? I doubt it. Millions of euros have been ploughed into the public transport network.

Whatever anyone says public transport on this island is excellent from buses to trains and of course there is the metro. But unfortunately few people actually use it.

The car is king.

The Balearics has one of the largest car fleets per capita in Spain if not Europe and sooner or later the local authorities are going to have to tackle the problem of too much traffic head-on.

There is no easy solution. Building more roads would result in an outcry from the environmentalists and bringing legislation in to limit traffic will result in a wave of complaints from motorists.

So what can the local authorities do? Admit that in Mallorca the car will always be the King of the Road.

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osn / Hace 4 months

Nowhere on Earth has solved a congestion problem by building more roads, it buys a bit of time, and kicks the can down the road a bit, but ultimately road building has always encouraged more traffic. Just need to use them smarter. Incentivise business to start and finish at quieter times. School buses would make a difference in some parts of town.

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