Deputy Mayor of Palma José Manuel Sierra yesterday showed how the new rectactable post which has been installed in Calle Monges operates. It is designed to stop traffic entering the street, and will be brought into service on Monday. The council plans to install 13 units and the streets chosen will continue to belong to the ORA (restricted parking) areas. Sierra said it was part of the council's general plan to limit the number of privately-owned vehicles in the historical centre of Palma. He added that the new system was being introduced because of the need to improve the efficiency of the Acires, areas of restricted traffic. Once the retractable posts are in position, the only drivers who will be able to enter the street, by using a special card, will be residents, shopkeepers and professionals who work in the area. The card has to be requested at the city hall. If the card fails to work, access can be achieved via video and audio signals. If there is a power failure, the post automatically goes down. The cost of the project is 50 million pesetas. There are 245'001 vehicles on the city council's census and it expects to raise more than 2'700 million pesetas through its tax on vehicles, the impuesto de vehículos. The voluntary period of payment opens today and will continue until April 30. Pedro Alvarez, the councillor in charge of finance, said that last year, 227'186 vehicle tax bills were sent out for a total of 2'500 million pesetas, although the amount actually paid to date is just under 2'000 million pesetas. He said that figures for this year were higher due to the two per cent increase in the consumer price index and the increase in the number of cars on the road. The councillor, who is also head of the municipal bus company, said that the council hopes to raise 1'600 million pesetas for its tax for the rubbish collection service.


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