Palma.—In fact, it was the Balearic government which decided to put back the date of restarting charges for parking places at Son Espases until the beginning of next month.

Añthough all hospital patients and users, and half of the staff at Son Espases were due to start paying for places yesterday, the parking management company is running “pilot trials” to check that the system is foolproof. Although no money will be charged, barriers will be lowered and raised and machines will be dispensing tickets to make sure all is in good working order by the time “D-day” arrives on 1st September.

A number of explanatory leaflets have been posted on the ticket machines to explain to the public and workers what is happening.
Luis Bellas, the General Workers Union (UGT) Public Health representative at Son Espases claimed yesterday that what the government is “really up to” is the fact that as the 1st September falls on a Saturday, there won't be any health workers protesting furiously against the reimposition of parking charges, as they were yesterday morning at 7.30am, again in the afternoon at 2.30pm with repeat performances today and Friday.

From 1st September, charges will be set at 0.02608 euros per minute, or 1.5 euros per hour, with a maximum charge of 10.76 euros a day A monthly ticket of 53.78 euros will be available largely aimed at benefiting workers who can be guaranteed a place any time, night or day. Other shift workers are attempting to coordinate sharing arrangements.

The total of 2'326 parking places will be split into two sections blocked off from one another, one for workers and one for the public, each with their own separate entrances and exits.