Scores of roads will be closed tomorrow. | F.F.

Sporting events in Majorca bring a clear economic benefit but they also cause inconvenience. The challenge is to find a balance and so therefore some form of regulation.

The Council of Majorca finally gave its authorisation for tomorrow's Mallorca 312, but there are two further races (of less importance) on Sunday, while next Saturday the Ironman triathlon takes place, meaning road closures in the north of the island. Because of the growing number of events, the Council and mayors are in favour of there being limits. At a meeting with 25 municipalities' representatives, a proposal was made for authorising only the most important events, those of particular benefit to tackling tourism seasonality. "We calculate that some 150,000 cycling tourists will have visited Majorca this season. This is a significant number. We must reflect and determine where we place limits," says the councillor for land, Mercedes Garrido.

The Council wants to regulate events through the law of activities and it is in favour of there being a forum or other type of body through which town halls and residents can have a voice. Garrido notes that, for example, the Puerto Soller road is often closed. "The residents' association should be able to give its opinion."

The mayor of Arta, Tolo Gili, believes that the government should declare some races as being of special tourism interest on account of their benefits. He admits that they do though cause inconvenience. "They need to be minimised as much as possible."

Antoni Solivellas, the mayor of Escorca, says that the municipality stages some thirty races that require road closures. "They are important for tackling seasonality but should take into account the municipalities which are affected and compensate them."

The events do have a financial cost. There are the costs of putting up and taking down barriers and those for extra hours of police work. In some municipalities the provision of services are regulated by local ordinance. In Escorca, for instance, organisers are charged the cost of having rubbish containers for races. The town hall in Andratx, which will have a dozen police officers available for Mallorca 312, has approved a law for establishing the price of officers for events and private celebrations. Mayor Jaume Porsell suggests, however, that perhaps this should not apply to Mallorca 312, given the benefits that it offers.

For tomorrow's event, the Guardia Civil will make available some one hundred officers, some of whom have come from Minorca and the mainland. The Guardia will not be charging for them.