Cycling on the Paseo Marítimo in Palma. | Miquel À. Cañellas


Bicycle use in Palma has risen by 45% since 2011, while the number of Bicipalma users has increased by the same percentage since 2013.

Presenting these figures yesterday, the councillor for mobility, Joan Ferrer, emphasised the importance of continuing to expand the city's cycling network. "The bike is gaining more and more ground. There cannot be a step back. Cycling must keep gaining space." An ambition for the town hall is to have a cycle lane along the Avenidas.

Mayor Antoni Noguera echoed the importance the town hall attaches to cycling by saying that it breaks away from a dependence on private vehicles and makes Palma "a healthier and more modern European city".

Data on bike use are collected at two points in the city - on the calles Font i Monteros and Enric Alzamora - over three consecutive working days each month between seven in the morning and ten at night. Since 2011, which is when the data started to be collected, there has been increased bike use each year except in 2012. Compared with last year, the growth has been 13%, the highest annual increase.

As far as Bicipalma is concerned, the number of users has risen from 1,952 in 2013 to 2,831 this year. There has been fluctuation in use over this period, but this year has seen a 42% rise.

The data suggest that almost six out of ten people have a bike and that 50% make use of a bike for commuting. A survey of users shows that 23% of cyclists believe that an advantage of using a bike is that travel is quicker than by other means; 18% say that cycling doesn't pollute and seven per cent think that it is cheaper. The main drawbacks with cycling are the lack of cycle lanes and potential danger posed by vehicles.