While the Insular Council of Majorca is hoping for little resistance from Madrid over funding for a number of key road expansion projects, Palma councillors believe that peddle-power is the answer to the city's traffic chaos. The Insular Councillor for public and urban development, Antoni Pascual, yesterday said he hoped Madrid will not try and block state aid for the island's road projects. Pascual, speaking at the end of a professional forum on road transport in the capital, said that there are plans to transform the Palma-Alcudia, Palma-Manacor, Palma-University, Palma-Llucmajor and Palma-Peguera into four lane stretches of roads “we don't know if they'll be motorways or dual carriage ways,” he said, adding that none of the projects can be completed without state funding. The Insular Council, has a budget of 60.1 million euros for roads this year, but intends to try and reach a deal with the Balearic government and Madrid to secure extra cash. But while the Insular Council is trying to improve roads leading in and out of the capital, in the city centre, which is near to grid lock, left wing councillors yesterday unveiled a plan for a network of cycle lanes. The United Left-Green coalition envisages bicycles as the “clear, economical and quick” solution to the city traffic nightmare. The city council has been urged to launch a six-month viability and impact study into developing a more cycle friendly city and to introduce regulations that new developments will have to include cycle lanes and secure cycle parking facilities. The Greens have also suggested that the council back a bicycle-hire scheme, so both residents and tourists without a bicycle, can rent one as they would a car, to get about the city. Those behind the scheme yesterday complained about the current condition of the few cycle lanes in the city, highlighting that cyclists are dicing with death because of the chaotic traffic situation and, in trying to solve the problems, all road users must be included, not just motorists.

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