Staff Reporter
THE ecological watchdog in the Balearics (GOB) has presented legal objections against the construction of the planned second ringroad around Palma, and against the creation of a dual carriageway on the road to Valldemossa. The conservationists assess that these road projects, backed by the present Partido Popular regional government are “disproportionate” and “unnecessary” solutions to the area's traffic problems. GOB claim that the construction of a dual carriageway as far as the Balearic University (UIB) and the Parc Bit technology park, will entail losing a “large chunk” of land resulting in serious social and environmental consequences. They furthermore denounced the fact that no overall studies had been made of possible alternatives to this highway development, and that the government had opted “quite brazenly” for the use of private cars. The government is also set to upgrade the Valldemossa road as far as S'Esgleieta. The total project, which will “consume” 183'130 square metres of land, means 3 kilometres of motorway being built and three more of resurfaced single-lane highway. GOB condemned the proposal as it will affect a total of 141 smallholdings in the districts of Palma, Esporles and Valldemossa. As an alternative, the ecologist group have proposed the construction of a railway line in the case of the Balearic University; the free provision and improvement of present public transport; the reform of the present highway; and the control of parking on the University campus. Similarly, the ecologist group believe that the second Palma ringroad cannot be justified by using statistics related to traffic levels, accident rates, or social demand. “The only things that will result from the building (of the second ringroad) are irreversibly damaging social and environmental effects. Added to this will be the noise impact for people living in Son Ferriol, Coll den Rabassa and Pla de Na Tessa” claim GOB. The ringroad will mean the expropriation of 120 smallholdings and the “consumption of 439'000 square metres of land to build a section of road 7.8 kilometres long between Coll d'en Rabassa and the Inca motorway. GOB were unequivocal in their condemnation of the project: “No credible traffic survey has been used as the basis for such extravagent and wasteful road development”, they claim.

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