By Humphrey Carter PALMA'S small shopkeepers have accused the city council of killing trade in the heart of the capital. Yesterday the Majorca Association of Small and Medium Business (Pimeco) claimed that the city council's pedestrianisation schemes have only served to make the “situation worse,” forcing consumers to turn their backs on city centre shopping. With high street trade far from buoyant at the moment and traders worried about a long, hard winter, a report published this week which states that city shoppers account for just seven percent of traffic in the capital, has sparked serious concern amongst traders. Pimeco said that the city council has made a mistake with the pedestrianisation scheme it embarked upon years ago, failing to provide the public with adequate alternative parking while key access roads have either been closed off or made one-way streets with tougher parking restrictions. Pimeco wants the city council to put its pedestrianisation scheme on hold and in the meantime, create more parking and a reliable public transport service in and out of the city centre. Fresh calls have been made for free park and ride schemes and the removal of the “resident-only” restrictions on key streets during trading hours. Plans to close the Borne to non-commercial and non-public transport proved a farce with the city council having to re-assess the situation and re-open one side of the Borne to all traffic in both directions. However, shopkeepers in the area are still pushing for the stretch to be open again to traffic down both sides as the pedestrianisation of the Borne has only had a negative effect on trade. With Christmas and New Years just around the corner, Palma's commercial sector, with the assistance of Palma City Council, intends to do everything it can to drum up festive trade amidst concerns of festive cheer and spending taking a dive once the holidays are over. Hence Pimeco, on the back of this week's report, is pushing the council for help in making it easier and more comfortable for shoppers in the city centre. Pimeco said yesterday that it has a hard enough battle on its hands in order to compete with the out-of-town shopping centres and warned the council that one of the main reasons the hyper-markets are becoming increasingly popular is that they are consumer friendly, easy to get to and with plenty of parking.