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STAFF REPORTER

PALMA
PALMA City Council is considering introducing some key changes along the Paseo Marítimo to improve safety and traffic flow.
Measures under consideration are the elimination of the right hand vehicle lane, the removal of the central reservation, and the setting up of a shuttle bus. It will not be until 1st June, however, that any decision on these proposals will be made.

Transport councillor Joaquin Rodriguez asserted yesterday, after a meeting held with a regional Transport Watchdog Committee, that “although nothing has yet been confirmed about the changes proposed for the Paseo Maritimo, nothing has been discounted either.” Looking at the options in closer detail, smoother flow of traffic could be achieved through using what is now the right hand vehicle lane as a bus and taxi thoroughfare only. As well as possibly removing the central reservation, the shuttle bus would link up three open-air parks close to the seafront. Another important strategy would be to bar heavy goods vehicles from using the Paseo which would increase security for pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and small vehicles. “We're not going to adopt all of these measures together,” said Rodriguez who explained that the aim of the City Council is to introduce whatever changes are decided on for the summer, which is why 1st June is a deadline for a ruling.

The councillor reported that over the last few weeks, he had been holding talks with the Balearic Ports Authority, the Council of Majorca, taxi associations, car hire company representatives, hotel owners, traders and residents' organisations.

His move to collect as much information and opinion as possible is in readiness for a Partido Popular motion to be tabled at the end of this month which will propose a “Round Table” discussion group for transport improvement along the Paseo Maritimo.

As a separate issue, the regional Transport Watchdog Committee yesterday rescinded five of the licenses which had previously been awarded to 37 horsedrawn carriage operators in the city. The reason for the disqualification is reportedly due to “hygiene and transport problems.” Rodriguez recalled that in 2006, the Council had already confiscated 10 such licenses on the orders of the city's Transport service sector.