Palma de Majorca.—Palma's Partido Popular City Council was particularly pleased to announce yesterday that the modifications to the cycle lane in the Avenidas they introduced after sweeping into power in regional elections in May last year, are proving increasingly popular with the public.

Transport Councillor Gabriel Vallejo said that judging from data collected last month, 50 percent more riders are using the new cycle lane (which was built as an alternative to a section of the original track in the Avenidas in Plaza España) than were using the original route in December 2010.

Transport Department sources said that the headcount was confirmed through the use of cameras, one set up on the corner of Calle Santiago Russinyol and Baró de Pinopar and the other in Calle Josep Anselm Clavé. Vallejo said that he was confident that the new route appeals to riders more because it is a less congested option, evidenced too by the fact that there are not now so many traffic snarl-ups on the Avenidas in Plaza España.

The Director said that the next item on his agenda is to extend the offer of the use of Palma's cycle lanes to tourists. He wants to get a system up and running by the start of the next tourist season so that visitors have the same rights as Palma citizens to cycle through the city.

Vallejo said however that there remained a considerable amount of work to do. Although the cycle lane infrastructure had been introduced by the previous Socialist coalition council, it had been launched in essence as a pilot project and that strict rules on tariffs, the management of the service, and auditing of income and outgoing costs had been “left in the air.” Although Vallejo said that tariffs are likely to be set without difficulty in the first half of this year, the issue of management may be a stickier one because the legal department at City Hall said that “it is not a good idea” that the organisation which is promoting the cycle route should also be running it.

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