By Lois Jones THE British parents of a 17-year old, killed last year on the Ibiza-Sant Antoni highway, yesterday welcomed Prime Minister Tony Blair's appeal to Spanish authorities to improve safety conditions on this infamous stretch of road. Tony Blair has asked his Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jack Straw, to liaise with Spanish authorities and set up a working party to look at why so many pedestrians have been killed on the highway over the past few years. Two years ago Boy George launched a campaign for road improvements after the death of a teenage Welsh girl. Mr Straw will ask the appropriate legal office, in this case the Council of Ibiza and Formentera, to reduce the current speed limit, arrange for improved lighting and the repainting of faded road markings, to schedule the construction of clear pavement walkways and safe pedestrian crossings. The continual dangers along this route were brought to the attention of the British Prime Minister by the Member of Parliament Mark Tami, who at the request of the parents of David Holloway, who died last summer after being run down on this same stretch of road, decided to take up the case. Tami recently said he wants to take the late Holloway's cause to the European Tribunal. Yesterday, Tami explained that Tony Blair, following 32 British deaths there in the past few years, wished to be kept informed as to what action should be taken to improve the state of this road.


Tami alluded to this issue last Tuesday during a session of the UK Parliament.
Toni Blair's government registered concern over the matter and decided to make contact with Spanish authorities.
It is clear that the highway in question lacks pedestrian pavement facilities, is poorly marked, badly lit, and has an inadequate hard shoulder.
The bollards signalling the small islands are very dangerous and there are no pedestrian bridges to allow safe crossing. This last point is particularly surprising as one section of this highway is home to two of the biggest discotheques in the world, where on some evenings, as many as 20'000 may congregate. Tami made it clear, however, that in no way were the British looking for confrontation with Spanish authorities. “Ibiza is very popular with our people. We want to continue good relations with the island and maintain a good image of it at home.” Nevertheless, the British would like to see “an effort” on the part of the Spanish to resolve the situation.” Apart from bringing the issue to the attention of the House of Commons, the British government will formally lodge their concerns with the Spanish embassy in London. Two days ago, Tami lowered the tone of the criticism made about the highway that links the towns of Ibiza and Sant Antoni.
Last month, the Member of Parliament denounced: “Too many people have already died on this road; if it belonged to the United Kingdom, it would already have been closed down”.

Another element that has added to deaths here is the fact that because traffic drives on the left on roads in the United Kingdom, people crossing them only look to the right. It was for this reason that young Rebecca Williams was knocked down and killed in the year 2000.

SUGGESTIONS
At the instigation of Tony Blair, the British Foreign Affairs Minister, Jack Straw will officially ask Spanish authorities to improve the conditions on the Ibiza-Sant Antoni highway. These are the suggestions that the British have made to reduce evident dangers:
Reduce the speed limit.
Effective lighting, at least at critical points, along the section of the highway where two giant discos are located, for example.
Construct better pedestrian pavements.
Repaint the road markings so they can be clearly seen.
Look for an adequate solution to the difficulty of crossing the road in safety (pedestrian bridges or other alternatives).