The plan for a cycle lane that would run along the main road through Puerto Alcudia, Playa de Muro and Can Picafort, terminate at Son Real and also be linked to an existing cycling lane on the road between Alcudia and Puerto Pollensa is no nearer being implemented.
The plan has been spoken about since the time of the Antich government of 2007 to 2011. It seemed to be moving towards fruition while José Ramón Bauzá was president and had, as it still does, 600,000 euros earmarked for its creation. The original budget for the entire project was 4.5 million euros,
However, the plan has consistently run up against obstacles. Two of the three town halls involved - Alcudia and Santa Margalida - have had no particular issues with accommodating the lane or with the additional funding that the town halls would give to the project - the 600,000 euros are from the tourism ministry's fund that was created by hotels paying to "regularise" hotel places.
Muro, though, has had issues. The main problem with the lane affects Playa de Muro and the stretch from the Pont dels Anglesos bridge over the canal to Can Picafort. The road passes through the Albufera Nature Park; the forest to the beach side of the road is part of the park.
The regional environment ministry's natural spaces department said a year ago that in addition to the cycle lane alongside the wetlands side of the road, there would need to be an equivalent widening on the other side. It was also demanding that Muro town hall paid compensation for the ceding of land.
The Council of Majorca's roads department then came up with an alternative design. On safety grounds, the proposal was for lanes on both sides of the road. Under this, the environment ministry would need to give up fifty-centimetre strips on both sides of the road.
Martí Fornés, Muro's mayor, explains that until now it hasn't been possible to get agreement from the natural spaces department to give up the two fifty-centimetre strips. The department's director-general, Miquel Mir, says it is now willing to do so. He adds, however, that the mayor wants to wait for a meeting of the nature park's board, which is due to take place on Thursday. Given past experiences, Fornés is sceptical about the natural spaces department signing off on the arrangement without the board, which represents different interests in the park, agreeing to the project.
Meanwhile, Alcudia and Santa Margalida town halls have been losing patience. Alcudia has asked for the process to start for its part of the cycle lane. Tourism councillor Joan Gaspar Vallori says that it is ridiculous that things are being held up over fifty centimetres of land. Santa Margalida town hall has suggested that it will withdraw provision for the lane from its budget, if work isn't tendered this year.
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