Staff Reporter
THE Alcudia town council will bring into force a ban on four-wheeled bikes in the town's roads.
The ban was approved in February 2001, but has only just come into force, according to Mayor Miquel Ferrer of the Majorcan Union (UM) party. When the ban was initially approved, the council reached an agreement with the firms which hire these bikes, to delay its introduction until this year, to give them time to recover their investments. It also gave the council time to resolve an appeal made by the association of bike hire companies.
The Supreme High Court of the Balearics ruled against the appeal last April, saying that town councils had the power to remove a certain number of vehicles from their towns, even though this decision affected only vehicles for hire. Since the ban was introduced, the municipal street map -the only streets where the council has the power to enforce the ban -has changed. These streets now include a stretch of the Artà road, from the Magic roundabout to the port, and the Avenida Príncipes de España, previously under the jurisdiction of the Balearic government. The council hopes by the ban to reduce the pressure of traffic in the municipality during the high season.
Council sources said that the big increase in the number of four-wheeled bikes had started to become a risk for traffic in some tourist areas. The news will come as a blow to many people including British Home Secretary David Blunkett, who regularly holidays in Alcudia and has been known to use one of these bikes for getting around. With this ban, there are not many areas left for these popular bikes in Alcudia.
Apart from private roads in some urbanisations and hotels, and the roads which come under the jurisdiction of the Council of Majorca, there are few alternatives for these rented bikes. The effects of the ban will not be felt until the start of the high season, when these bikes are very much in demand by families. Until the bike only lane along the Artà road throughout Muro and up to Can Picafort was supressed, these bikes were frequently seen during the summer months.

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