THE town council in Capdepera made it known yesterday that from now on it was going to control the practice of providing horse-drawn carriages with drivers to members of the public.

The purpose of the new legislation, a Transport and Tourism department spokesman explained, is twofold. As well as inspectors making sure of the safety aspects of the carriage, the well-being of the horse and the competence of the driver, the rights of passengers need to be taken into account.

Ensuring that operators have proper licenses issued by the council will also discourage illegal competition, the spokesman added. Only those drivers with an authorised permit will be recognised as bona fide. A maximum of six licenses will be given to cover the whole of the municipality. They will last a minimum of five years and a maximum of 10.

Fines for not abiding by the new bylaws could incur fines ranging from 300 to 1'800 euros, according to the seriousness of the infraction. Opposition members on Capdepera council said that there were some details missing from the legislation which should have been included such as what are the pre-requisites for making an application for a license.

All parties however, agreed that the horse-drawn carriages were appropriate for the area which includes several tourist zones.