The small businesses in Palma express their concerns. | Youtube: Ultima Hora

The Majorcan Restaurant Association yesterday announced that is going to join the February 27 “shut down” demonstration being mounted by small business in Palma in protest over the city hall’s lack of support, aid and planning for the future.

In a statement, the association said: “the recent measures which have been taken by the council are having a negative impact on out business sector and the city as a whole and are doing nothing to benefit and improve the quality of life of residents.”

The association highlighted the closing of terraces in sa Llonja at 23.00, plans to remove terraces and the pedestrianisation of the city centre without any clear consultation or planning as some of the key mistakes the council is making. While the association agrees that traffic congestion in the centre needs to be addressed and a more sustainable plan for the future of the city needs to be drawn up, any plans must be devised in cooperation with the various business and resident sectors.

Palma shops will shut down for an hour on Thursday, February 27, as part of a protest organised by Afedeco and Pimeco against the pedestrianisation of some areas of the city.

The motto for the protest, which will last from 1100 until 1200 on February 27 is ‘Se traspasa’ or “Transfer of Ownership’ and posters will be put up to let people know why they’re taking action.

The posters will say: “If the streets are closed to traffic without an improvement plan, urban commerce is transferred. We want streets without cars but with life.”
Employers insist that they are not completely against the pedestrianisation of the city but point out that “a clear plan for the improvement and beautification of the areas affected and sufficient parking at the entrance of the city is desperately needed, as well as a fast, punctual and economic public transport service.

Public transport
“Palma City Council is closing streets to traffic without adapting, beautifying or making them attractive, public transport has not been improved to facilitate access to the historic centre and several bus stops have been eliminated at strategic points of the city, such as La Rambla,” said a spokesperson.

Afedeco and Pimeco have warned that the pedestrianisation that’s already been put in place is just the beginning.

“Palma City Council has repeatedly stated its intention to close the entire historical centre to traffic from the Avenidas.

It has started with Plaça des Mercat and Carrer de la Unió, and now these areas are dead,” they said.