Carriages operate in Puerto Alcudia and Playa de Muro. | Archive


The seventeen drivers of horse carriages who operate in Alcudia and Muro intend switching to electric carriages.

There has been talk of doing this for some while, but a reason why it hadn't been pursued was the lack of formal approval from Spain's industry ministry. This was given in March this year, and so with the help of Alcudia town hall the drivers have made contact with manufacturers. They want the carriages to be standardised and to be able to make a joint purchase.

The cost for each of them will be around 50,000 euros. It is a considerable expense, but they believe that it is a necessary one.

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José Antonio Salazar, a holder of one of the Alcudia licences, says: "We have been looking at how to do this for about ten years now, but until a few months ago it wasn't feasible because there was no regulation that would allow them to be approved. We know that drivers from elsewhere in the Balearics and on the mainland are not in favour because they believe that we will lose our charm, but we don't see it that way. >Electric carriages operate successfully in Germany, for example, and working with horses is becoming more difficult for us every day. We are considered the bad guys and we suffer constant insults."

He explains that he has five horses which take turns so they can rest. New regulation has recently been introduced by Alcudia town hall by which the carriage service is suspended during the hours that a heat alert is active. It used to only be from noon to 5pm. The police, town hall and drivers share a WhatsApp group that informs them in real time of the hours when service is prohibited based on met agency alerts.

Councillor Azahara Machado, who applauds the attitude of the carriage drivers, says: "We are trying to be the first in Spain to replace the entire fleet with electric carriages." In Muro, the town hall gave its support for the switch a couple of years ago but admitted there were issues regarding approval and manufacture.