Repairing the escalators. | Teresa Ayuga

On Wednesday, work began on fixing the escalators in Palma's Plaça Major. The town hall says that while this work has started, repair of the lift that connects the square and the top storey of the car park is more problematic. "There is no short-term solution."

Despite the presence of technical personnel, the local residents association is sceptical. "We hope that they are trying to fix them."

The town hall's spokesperson, councillor Alberto Jarabo, says that the problems with the lift and escalators are regrettable. He dismisses any link to the closure of the units beneath the square, noting that breakdowns happened before this. In the case of the lift next to the stairs to Via Roma, which is the one that connects with the car park, he explains that it is prone to breakdown because it is easy to vandalise and is in an area of the city where there is most vandalism. Because of the regular breakdowns, he suggests that the lift may have to be dispensed with.

Palma's Ombudsman, Anna Moilanen, insists that "mobility is a right" and that repair of the lift and escalators can be done separate to the redevelopment project for the square. She argues that there has to be an alternative project to ensure accessibility for residents and tourists.

As to the underground units, Jarabo says that the competition to gather ideas is about to end and that "we hope that there will be a more rapid process for awarding the project".