Motorists failed to heed the call to leave their cars at home.


Not a car in sight, the centre of Palma was a pleasure to walk around yesterday as the city took part in the European Day Without Cars. The Borne was the centre of attraction with a host of events, shows and activities for children. The Mayor of Palma, Joan Fageda, set an example to the rest of the capital's population by getting on his bike and joining the cyclists in the city. Local Police were stationed around the city centre controlling traffic and making sure the road blocks were not abused by drivers. Not even motorbikes were allowed into the city centre. However, some of the underground car parks nearest the centre, such as the one along the Paseo Majorca, were the scene of long queues throughout the day as many drivers decided to run the gauntlet and try and get as near to the centre as possible instead of using the special car parks and the free transport connections to the centre. Many members of the local government and Balearics MP's were spotted walking to work surrounded by cyclists and rollerbladers who had the city centre all to themselves. Palma was just one of around 800 European towns and cities which banished cars from their centres yesterday in the annual “car-free” event that the EU's environment chief said would wet the public's appetite for traffic-free streets.