Traffic experts and road engineers in Madrid and other major Spanish cities find it hard to believe some of Majorca's traffic density figures. Palma's Via Cintura ring-road, for example, handles 114.606 vehicles per day. In Madrid engineers are convinced that someone has added the extra nought on by mistake. But the reality of the situation is that the figure is correct. According to the Highway Capacity Manual a two-lane stretch of road which handles 12'000 vehicles per day is on the verge of grid-lock. The treacherous Manacor road, which for the most part is of two lane traffic, handles 20'000 vehicles a day and the Palmanova road is having to cope with 42'903 vehicles per day, over three times the saturation mark. Traffic figures for the Valldemossa road are 25'000 vehicles per day, in the winter. The Inca to Alcudia road, one of the worst stretches of road in the island, which was once destined to have been transformed in to a much safer motorway, handles nearly 25'000 vehicles per day. With regards to motorways, 30'000 vehicles per day is saturation point. The Via Cintura handles 114'606 and the three-lane airport motorway over 112'000. The Ponent stretch, which was thrown in to traffic chaos on Thursday night, with drivers having to sit in traffic jams for over an hour-and-a-half, handles 67'570 vehicles per day and the stretch of motorway from Palma to Alcampo has to deal with a daily traffic load of 72'799 vehicles. The figures are extremely high on their own, but compared to the Madrid to Valencia motorway, one of the busiest stretches in Spain which handles an average 60'000 vehicles per day, the figures are alarming. Traffic police are trying to figure out a way of reducing accidents, but with Balearic car sales being the second highest in Spain and the roads already unsuitable for the density of traffic Majorca is hurtling down the road to grid lock.


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