Angry residents in Petra yesterday blocked machinery and trucks as they tried to move onto the site where work will start on the Palma to Manacor railway line. Despite the local population voting overwhelmingly in a recent referendum against the proposed route of the railway through the town, their opinions have been ignored and many, especially land owners, said yesterday that they had received no notification that machinery etc. was coming on to their property yesterday morning as construction work was due to start. Apart from the lack of notification, others claimed that they still have not been paid by the authorities for the compulsory purchase of their land for the new railway line. Tensions have been running high over the new railway in Petra and yesterday the Guardia Civil had to be called to resolve the dispute and guarantee access to constructors and their machinery. However, the dispute was resolved too late for any work to have been done and protesters are expected to return to the site this morning to protest over the way they have been treated and against the proposed route. The aim is to have the Palma to Manacor link operating next year, so work can start on the Palma city centre to the Balearic university link, but prolonged protests by local residents in Petra will slow the project down.

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