Joana Ribas and other driving schools representatives outside Tráfico in Palma.

25-01-2019Pere Bota

Representatives of driving schools in the Balearics agreed late on Friday to call off protest action that had been planned for next week. The intention had been to bring roads into Palma to a standstill during the morning rush hour in order to draw attention to the "desperate" situation regarding driving tests.

The action was called off following a meeting with the head of the traffic directorate (Tráfico) in the Balearics, Francisca Ramis, at which waiting times for tests were discussed. These waiting times have been at the centre of the dispute between Tráfico and the driving schools. Joana Ribas, the vice-president of the driving schools association, said afterwards that Ramis had promised to introduce improvements in order to reduce the waiting times "substantially".

At present, learner drivers are having to wait up to three and a half months for a test. The improvements will involve the "immediate" hiring of five more examiners - three for Majorca and two for Ibiza. This should mean waiting times being cut to just a month by May. The five examiners are to be added to the current eight, two of whom are at present off work through illness.

Ramis also agreed to increase the number of tests in the afternoons. This will further contribute to reducing waiting times.

Ribas expressed her satisfaction at the outcome of the meeting. "We had not expected such a favourable response." There is, as a result, no need to stage any form of protest. She added that the situation with a lack of examiners has existed for years and has become "unsustainable". In the 1980s, there were twice as many as there are currently.