HUNDREDS of tourists on the Playa de Palma, Paseo Marítimo and Cala Mayor were hit by a coach drivers' protest at the lack of suitable parking spaces for their vehicles oustide hotels. This means that if they park outside a hotel, they run the risk of losing points from their driver's licences. The protest, which had been recommended by the unions, consisted of strict adherence to traffic signals, and in those hotels where there was no properly marked parking areas, the drivers did not stop until they could find a suitable parking space. This meant that tourists had to carry their suitcases some distance to or from their hotels. Union spokesman Pedro Berruezo said that there had been no incidents during the day, and that the “drivers left tourists as close to their hotel as possible, but always complying with the traffic regulations and parking in a clearly marked area.” He added that this type of protest will continue all week long until a solution is found.
A meeting between the city council, Balearic government travel agents, transport federation and unions is due to be held on Monday to discuss the problem.
Salvador Servera, manager of the Balearic Transport Federation, said that management did not back the protest “but we are aware of the situation and are seeking solutions.” He added that there were about 30 conflictive points in Palma, nearly all of them on the Playa de Palma, and pointed out that the city council has already approved the creation of 12 loading and unloading bays outside hotels. The Federation is also in contract with the Playa de Palma Hoteliers Association, which has asked the council for more loading and unloading bays.
The drivers are determined to follow traffic regulations to the letter to draw attention to the problems and complications involved in picking up or dropping off tourists. The city council has said that the Local Police will turn a blind eye to coaches which have no alternative but to double park outside a hotel.

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