Bit of a tight fit. There will be fewer coaches in Sa Calobra. | Archive

The reduction in parking places for coaches in Sa Calobra will result in a financial loss of 1.76 million euros. This is the calculation made by the federation of transport business (FEBT), the town hall in Escorca having announced the plan to cut the number of places from 45 to 35.

The loss is based on a standard coach having 55 seats. With ten fewer parking places, this would mean 550 fewer seats. If an excursion costs 40 euros, then that means a daily loss of 22,000 euros. With a minimum of twenty days per month, this works out at 440,000 euros. Across the four main summer months, this equates to 1.76 million.

The federation is also criticising the fact that the town hall will increase the number of parking places for cars by taking away the ten coach parking spots. This, the FEBT believes, "favours" individual transport, something which creates damage to the environment. The federation notes that small transport operators, which go less frequently to Sa Calobra, are likely to be more harmed than the larger operators. It wants to ensure that the same company cannot reserve all 35 places for itself and leave no room for others.

The FEBT argues that the town hall has failed to meet legal requirements to do with participation and transparency. These include an obligation to give a year's notice of bylaws that involve legal changes and to hold public consultation prior to drafting laws. It therefore wants the town hall to either rescind the bylaw or to re-draft it, taking into account submissions made.

The town hall says that submissions which came from the federation were late. It did in fact meet with the federation last week. The outcome of that meeting was said to have been positive, with discussion of revising the number of coaches in high summer and apparent agreement to make changes next summer.