Queuing to pay for the Soller tunnel will be a thing of the past by next year. | Marcos Carreras

The announcement by the Council of Majorca that it intends approving the removal of the toll for the Soller tunnel at its September full session has been greeted very positively by most of Soller's residents. Mayor Jaume Servera, like the president of the Council, Miquel Ensenyat, a member of Més, says that he is "very satisfied" with the news. He adds that the town hall administration wasn't surprised by the announcement as the Council had previously signalled its intention to make the tunnel free as from next year.

But with the announcement comes a concern that Soller may have to cope with ever more traffic and therefore parking. Servera is "not worried" about the consequences of the lifting of the toll but accepts that there is likely to be more traffic. He doesn't believe that it will be necessary to adopt any specific measures in this respect, even if he acknowledges that there is already a lack of parking.

"In my opinion the elimination of the toll will have an effect only at the beginning because of the novelty of being able to come to Soller without having to pay. After this the situation will be normalised, as happens in any other town on the island." (Not, it should be noted, that there are or have been any other toll roads in Majorca.)

Opposition parties in Soller, while also welcoming the news, have advised the Council and the regional government to be cautious. Former mayor Carlos Simarro of the Partido Popular says that the party is totally in agreement with the decision to make the tunnel free for all users, but he is warning that breaking the current agreement might have legal consequences. There are six years to still run on the concession to operate the tunnel's toll. There needs, therefore, to be an agreement with the concessionaire and so avoid any possible reference to the courts. If not, the lifting of the toll could end up costing taxpayers.

Susana Sina of Guanyem Soller is also in full agreement with the decision but she has described the announcement as "populist" and hopes that it will not result in any negative impact on the quality of life of people in Soller.