Daily collapse to enter Soller. | R. GARRIDO


The other day my husband and I were en route to Palma airport and had left plenty of time. We live in Soller so know only too well that the town is currently besieged with unprecedented levels of traffic as visitors pour into the valley. With relief we left the town, content that the traffic was slow but at least flowing. Our good fortune was short-lived. A huge queue curled back down the hill and a red traffic light prevented cars from entering the Soller tunnel.

It was far worse on the other side, as it transpired. Impatient locals began doing three point turns and choosing to navigate the slow, zig-zag Coll instead. After a while, we did the same. Cyclists take the Coll which is normally quiet and car-free. Not that morning. Locals whizzed around the bends, cursing and taking risks while poor cyclists looked panicked.

Thankfully, we made the airport by the skin of our teeth but had to park directly there rather than at a more economical nearby car park. I wonder how long this will go on. The situation can only get worse this summer, so solutions need to be found quickly, especially for ambulance and emergency service access. Our council has inaugurated two temporary car parks.

It’s a start but what more can be done? Restrict hire cars from entering the town? Bring back the toll at the tunnel? Clamp down on illegal rentals which bring countless guests? Charge a levy to second homeowners renting their pads at exorbitant rates during the fractious summer months? Inaugurate a huge car park beyond the tunnel with courtesy buses to ferry non-residents in and out of town? All these suggestions are on the table but are any feasible?

In the meantime, many Soller residents with the good luck to work from home, will be bunkering down this summer, re-emerging late October when the coast is clear.