BY ANNE KAY

ROAD RAGE
We normally associate the words Road Rage with the anger and aggravation experienced by drivers, caused by other drivers who they think are driving madly. However, at present on Majorca there is a lot of rage due to the roads and not to the drivers, or better still, aimed at the politicians who are planning a lot of new roads for the island. Bulletin readers have seen how Mabel Cabrer, the local Minister of Public Works, explained bravely the projects will go ahead. The two main “stars” in this current Road Plans of the Balearic Government are the motorway planned between Inca and Manacor, with only a dual carriageway widening along the Palma to Manacor road in certain parts, and the second ring road to be known as the Segunda Via de Cintura. The new Palma ring road will absorb some 70'000 vehicles as from the spring of 2006 and the work should start next September at a cost of 33.6 million euros. The 4.3 kilometres of new road will link with the Valldemosa road, the Soller or Bunyola road, with the Son Castello trading estate and the old Bunyola road ending at Pont D'Inca. The aim of this road is to decongest the present ring road by some 22.4 per cent, removing the vehicles that have no intention of entering the centre of Palma. Statistics show that over 100'000 vehicles a day go along the present Via de Cintura, with traffic jams at certain times, with difficulties for accessing and exiting the main routes out of Palma. People will be able to save petrol by using the outer ring road to go East or West instead of entering further into Palma, and it will also be a perfect alternative in the event of accidents with subsequent road blocks. About 100 people will be affected by expropriations although this includes only 10 actual buildings but there are far more people who have been complaining about this new road, particularly the GOB, the Majorcan branch of Greenpeace. It would be interesting to know how many people would show their pleasure, something that does not usually take place, only rather a smaller percentage of protesters against. You only have to drive around Majorca on a regular basis as I have been for the Kay's Kilometres articles, to see the major increase in the number of cars and the traffic jams all over the place. The new ring road is not such a new plan since in 1977 the possibility of a second ring road was already envisaged by the Balearic road authorities, and even in 1979 the College of Engineers for Roads, Canals and Ports presented a suggestion that included a third road and in the nineties, several stretches of the second ring road were already open. It was obvious to the experts that traffic was going to increase incredibly once into the third millennium. As for diverting a motorway towards the centre of the island, at present the politicians opposing the Balearic Government have encouraged local residents to make a typical negative protest, but very soon they will all be using those accesses to the motorways to travel around the island quicker. When the present ring road left out an access to the Soller road, many people complained. Everyone will be delighted to have a slip road near their village in the end.

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