No ramps for wheelchair users, but the problem is greater still for users of mobility scooters; they have to use the road.


The first phase of the semi-pedestrianisation project for Puerto Pollensa's front line coast road has produced numerous complaints. Residents, businesses and tourists have all complained about noise, mess and reduced accessibility. The latter of these has stemmed from the rubble created by the work, but there is a further issue of accessibility: the very real problem being posed for wheelchair and mobility scooter users as well as parents with push chairs.

Yesterday morning, a group gathered to highlight this problem, one that is particularly acute in the main centre of the resort and which is making mobility and and accessing shops virtually impossible.

The town hall is certainly aware of the issue and has said that there are to be "temporary solutions" to overcome the obstacles created by the high kerbs of the new pavements that have been created as part of the project. However, it is unclear when these solutions might appear.

The second phase of the project, which will not begin until November at the earliest, will address the whole issue of accessibility. The plan is for the level of the road to be raised, though even this plan is unclear: will it apply to the whole road or just crossing points? Whatever the longer-term solution is, the present problem remains.

As was pointed out yesterday, kerbs have increased in height where once they were dropped and so facilitated accessibility. A question being asked, therefore, is why the first phase of the project did not take this previous accessibility into account and did not make provision, from the outset, for reduced-mobility users.

While the problems were being highlighted yesterday, a representative from the tourist information office took due note. The office knows all about the issue. Indeed, the kerbs right by it are such that they create obstacles, including those of the pedestrian crossing. A member of the local police force also took note. He spoke with the group, kicked a kerb and suggested that it needed lowering.

Puerto Pollensa, in addition to residents who are users of mobility equipment, typically attracts a senior tourism market in spring, many of whom need to use this equipment. The current problems because of lack of accessibility are merely heightening some negative publicity that has arisen because of the work.