Noise levels on the Via Cintura and along the Avenidas in Palma exceed those that local ordinance permits. A map of noise that has been drawn up by the town hall points to these high levels, and it is traffic which is the principal contributor.

This map, says town hall spokesperson Neus Truyol, is the culmination of a process that has been ongoing for some years, and it will allow for there to be an action plan against noise, something which the governing board at the council will be taking to the next full council meeting for approval.

In certain streets of the city the noise levels are above a range of between 50 and 75 decibels, which constitute the established limits. There is also the phenomenon of noise seasonality, with noise and complaints about it increasing during high season.

The work on the noise map hasn't, as yet, taken into account industrial activities or leisure and nightlife. But disturbances caused by, for example, terraces will become subject to recommendations under the action plan, so that Palma can be made a more habitable city.

Some measures being considered include the creation of quiet zones, which would have low noise quotas, increased inspections and sound checks, and environmental clauses included in contracts handed out by the town hall. Although the plan has yet to be fully approved, there are already certain measures in place to pacify traffic and so reduce noise levels and to encourage the use of public transport. Others will be for there to be sound barriers in specific parts of the city and increased control of nightlife.