Expect long delays this summer on the Mallorcan roads. | A. SEPULVEDA


So, there are going to be over 85,000 hire cars on the roads across the Balearics this summer and the bulk of them will be in Mallorca. We’re just asking for trouble. What is more, as has yet again been pointed out this week, most of these vehicles have not been registered in the Balearics but elsewhere in Spain, where it is cheaper. Road taxes have therefore not been paid in the Balearics, so the cash injection needed to repair Balearic roads is lying in the coffers of some tucked away village on the mainland where the mayor is laughing all the way to the bank. This has been happening for years. The president of the Balearic Association of Rental Vehicles, Ramon Reus, first brought this practice to my attention a good 15 years ago and nothing has been done to combat the problem.

It’s a bit like the cruise ships. Most of the profit goes to Madrid, which manages the main state ports. Then there’s the vast amount of money generated by Palma Airport, which goes to the Spanish Airports Authority Aena and appears to have little interest in the well-being of Mallorca or its people - just loads of money.

Ibiza has toyed with the idea of following the example set by Formentera and controlling the entrance of vehicles onto the island, but that idea will probably die along with the outgoing government. So what is Mallorca going to do to avoid summer gridlock? The island’s road network is not designed to handle so many vehicles, to say nothing of the enormous fleet owned by resident Mallorcans for whom the idea of car sharing is the work of the devil. The morning rush hour chaos is not caused by hire cars, even though they get the blame, so something has got to give.