Image taken at the parking area at the Formentor lighthouse on Monday.

A number of private cars were driven to the lighthouse at Formentor on Monday, ignoring the fact that since 9 July there has been a ban on all vehicles apart from authorised ones (and bicycles) going any further than the beach on the promontory. The volume of traffic was such that the shuttle bus service from Puerto Pollensa had to be suspended on safety grounds.

The total number of cars was in fact only around seventy, according to one source, and they had been driven to the lighthouse after the Guardia Civil's Trafico division (the traffic police) ordered the removal of the barrier on the road that Pollensa town hall had installed. Trafico told the person who mans the barrier and informs drivers that there was no legal cover to stop private cars, despite there being signs warning about the restriction. Only Guardia Civil officers can do this.

Because of the cars, the decision was taken to suspend the bus service from midday until the evening when the service ceases; the bus still ran as far as the beach and the hotel.

As a result of this, there was a great deal of confusion and some anxiety, the latter apparently caused by safety fears. Some drivers said that there had been no barrier and no one to tell them that they couldn't go to the lighthouse. It might be noted that there are signs in Puerto Pollensa itself, before getting to the road on the promontory, which make quite clear that there is a restriction.

Initially, it was thought that the bus service would have been suspended yesterday as well. The decision was later taken to run it. The regional government, meanwhile, made representations to the national government delegate in order to get the Guardia Civil to allow the barrier to operate. Councillor Miquel Sureda said that the service itself has been effective since it was introduced, but added that the town hall doesn't have any responsibility for it. As with other public buses, it is operated by the Majorca Transport Consortium.

The Council of Majorca, which is responsible for the road as it is classified as a main road, said that there had been a "problem with communication" with the Guardia Civil. The barrier that has been used since 9 July is apparently only a temporary solution. The final system for traffic control has yet to be put in place.

It would appear that there were no issues yesterday, the communication problem seemingly having been resolved. A hastily convened meeting between the town hall and the Council of Majorca agreed to reinforce the advisory notices on the bypass road in Puerto Pollensa which leads to Formentor.