The Cala s’Almonia shuttle bus has not been a success. | Gori Vicens

While there was some fanfare in the media about the shuttle bus from Santanyi's industrial estate to Cala s’Almonia and Caló des Moro, it would seem that the publicity and information regarding the service were not as effective as they might have been.

The shuttle service this summer was part of the solution to the "saturation" by vehicles in the area of the coves. With the exception of residents, car parking was prohibited in Cala s’Almonia and Caló des Moro and the access road was closed. The bus was therefore supposed to have been transporting beachgoers in and out. However, over the three months that it has been operational (it started later than had originally been envisaged), only some 5,000 passengers have used the service. Santanyi's councillor for police affairs, Maria Pons, says that the forecasts had suggested that there would be much greater usage.

The town hall is blaming the Majorca Transport Consortium, which is linked to the transport ministry, for the "bad results". If people had known about the service, Pons suggests, then many people coming from different parts of the island would have left their cars at the industrial estate and taken the bus; it only cost one euro and fifty cents.

As well as the bus not having been well used, the saturation problem merely relocated itself to Cala Llombards. So, with the tourism season drawing to a close, the town hall will analyse the situation and see what improvements can be made. There is an idea for a car park, but this would have to be approved by the Council of Majorca.

The experience with the Cala s’Almonia bus this summer might just serve as a warning to the transport consortium and the government. Much is also being made of similar services, especially one to Formentor from Puerto Pollensa next year. The information needs to be effective.