Will the lower speed limit reduce jams? | Teresa Ayuga

From midnight on Sunday, the new 80 kilometres per hour speed limit on the Via Cintura in Palma will be in effect. Four reasons for the lower speed limit have been given: a reduction in pollution and a consequent improvement of health; a cut in noise pollution; a reduction in accidents; and fewer traffic jams.

When the Council of Mallorca announced the new limit in November, there was a good deal of opposition. Just this past week the Balearic Transport Federation asked for a postponement. Political parties, the Partido Popular in particular, have expressed their scepticism and asked why it is felt necessary to reduce the limit to 80 km/h and not to 100. The PP have called for the limit to be applied only to stretches of the road with the most density of traffic. But these various suggestions and calls have been rejected.

Workers from the Council of Mallorca's roads department will start uncovering the 80 km/h signs at midnight. It is expected that all the signs will have been uncovered by 6am on Monday morning. Tráfico says that there will be monitoring on Monday to observe the level of compliance.