Transport minister Marc Pons (second from the right) and the shuttle bus in Santanyi. | Guillem Mas

Regional transport minister Marc Pons has been in Santanyi and expressed his satisfaction with demand for the shuttle bus from the town to Cala s'Almonia and Caló des Moro. The service has been introduced in order to prevent the area being overwhelmed by cars.

Pons noted that a similar initiative had been started in 2016 for Es Trenc and Ses Covetes. The difference with Cala s'Almonia and Caló des Moro is that visitors have to rely solely on the shuttle bus as there are no blue zones for paid car parking.

The shuttle has been carrying an average of 50 to 60 people per day since its introduction last month. It runs hourly from the industrial estate in Santanyi. Pons felt that the numbers are positive for the early part of the tourism season. He said that anyone who wants to go to the coves can do, that the shuttle service model works and that it can be adopted elsewhere.

Santanyi's mayor, Llorenç Galmés, expressed his satisfaction as well. The service has helped "to give order to Cala s'Almonia and Caló des Moro, where have been real problems of vehicle saturation". Residents, he added, are happy with the measure, while visitors no longer need to worry about trying to find somewhere to park.

Since the start of May, access roads have been closed. This measure, Galmés explained, has caused no problems. There hasn't been any need to hand out a fine, while the town hall has processed more than 400 applications for car parking from Santanyi residents. Local police are continuing to control the access to the coves.

Two other shuttle bus services are planned for 2018: one for Formentor, the other for Cala Mondragó. Both will be in order to cut the volume of traffic and to eliminate major problems with car parking.