NEW ROAD PLAN GOES UP FOR PUBLIC CONSENSUS

THE Ministry for Public Works is about to present its new Balearic road plan to the general public after having completely revised the plan devised by the previous Partido Popular government and got rid of all the plans to build or extend motorways in the region. Instead of constructing new motorways, the government has opted for widening roads into dual carriageways. The new road plan includes transforming all of the region's main roads, such as the road between Palma and Manacor, Inca to Sa Pobla and Palma Nova to Peguera into dual carriageways. The Balearic government also intends to re-negotiate three motorway plans approved by Madrid which the previous government failed to have the time to carry out and which Chief Minister Francesc Antich and his cabinet have no intention of completing. For the next month, the project will be on public display, during which time any objections or complaints should be submitted to the Balearic Ministry for Public Works. The Balearic government's preference for boosting public transport as opposed to expanding the road network has been clear from the start and the government has ambitious plans for the island's railway service in an attempt to tempt people off the roads and into the trains. The motorway from Palma all the way to Alcudia was never completed because Antich's government called a halt to the final phase and opted for extending the railway from Inca to Sa Pobla and eventually on to Alcudia. Last week the government announced that it is to carry out viability and impact studies on linking the centre of Palma with the University along the Valldemossa road, which has become one long black spot over the years, and Palma with the airport with some form of tram. The stretch of motorway between Palma and the airport is gradually reaching saturation point, especially during peak hours when traffic is brought to a near halt, summer or winter, and the government has no intention of widening the road. What the government is desperate to avoid is increasing the number of cars on the island's roads as there are already more cars in the Balearics per capita than elsewhere in Europe.

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