A committee set up to defend the use of the train yesterday called on the Balearic Transport and Public Works minister Mabel Cabrer to invest more money on the system in Majorca, and to open new lines. The committee, made up of group of railway commuters, congratulated the minister on her decision to maintain the existing frequencies in the face of a report which said that some of the delays which have been plaguing the service could be avoided if the frequencies were reduced. It issued a communique thanking the minister for her interest in the service, and the recently-announced emergency plan under which she promised 67.4 million euros to correct deficiencies and improve the infrastructure. It also said it was essential to purchase new rolling stock and to widen the rails to guarantee a good service. This, the communique said, should be done as soon as possible. As to improving the service, it called for an extension of the train service to Alcudia, Artà and Cala Rajada, as well as the Balearic University in Palma and Son Sant Joan airport. A viability study is also needed to study extending the service to the south of the island, the communique said.
It was the previous government which started the move to extend the train service in an effort to cut down congestion on the roads, and the new government's roads plan, with its emphasis on extending motorways, was greeted with dismay by environmentalists who saw it as a rejection of public transport in favour of the car.
The bus shuttle service, introduced to ferry passengers from villages close to towns with railway stations to the train has proved to be popular and is expected to be increased in the near future. But in the meantime, complaints about delays, particularly on the Sa Pobla route, continue to arrive.