The toll was lifted a year ago. | Pere Bota

A year on from the lifting of the toll to use the Soller Tunnel, and the mayor of Soller, Jaume Servera, says that "none of the gloomy predictions about traffic chaos, demographic transformation and loss of security have been realised". For the mayor, the lifting of the toll simply meant a "normalisation of access to Soller like that to any other place on the island".

Servera believes that the "dreaded increase in cars" happened only at the start, when free travel through the tunnel was a novelty. This situation settled down. Problems with traffic in the summer "were no different to those which could have occurred elsewhere on the island".

As for the demographics, the mayor explains that there have been 800 de-registrations because of the "disappearance of false addresses in order to claim the toll discount". Meanwhile, 600 people have joined the municipal register.

Servera is with Més, and so the opposition Partido Popular take a very different view. The Council of Majorca, they accept, had done well in eliminating the toll but has since "abandoned" Soller and not provided solutions to parking. The consequences of lifting the toll had not been considered.

Opposing opinions and arguments regarding the impact on the local economy are likely to continue until such time as there are some objective figures. The Council has not yet given any complete picture regarding traffic usage, and this probably won't be available until next summer. Bars and restaurants, meanwhile, suggest that they have been busier, especially at weekends.