Local News (1st February 2018)

Albufera Celebrates Anniversary

The environmental group, GOB, joined the celebrations for the Albufera’s 30th anniversary of its natural park status, but it took the opportunity to denounce its deficiencies and insisted that the Government work urgently on improvements. 

In the first report on the monitoring of the park prepared in this legislature (2015), both the serious water quality problems and the lack of capacity to monitor biodiversity and the protected area were highlighted by the organization. “Unfortunately we have to say that a little more than a year after the end of the term, the necessary advances do not exist or are not significant, the expected increases in personnel have been broken both in 2016 and 2017.”

Posidonia Monitoring

Ibanat has been contracted to monitor the posidonia meadows for the next two summers. They will use 15 boats, five more than last year, to survey the meadows and staff will issue information on the prohibition of anchoring in what are called Areas of Community Interest (LIC) and Areas of Special Conservation (ZEC).

The bays of Pollensa and Alcudia will be monitored along with others including Cala Figuera, the archipelago of Cabrera, the coast of Llevant and more. Advice will be offered to boats of large lengths (between 15 and 110 meters), in order to avoid any impact of their manoeuvre and anchoring. The service will be between June 1 and September 30 for Mallorca and Menorca, and between May 15 and September 30 for Eivissa and Formentera.

Last summer assistance was given to 6,678 boats across the Balearics. Information was provided to a total of 5,000 vessels and 45,000 leaflets were distributed.

More New Bus Stations in the North

Government Ministers met with Mayors from Alcúdia and Muro, last week to finalise the agreement on the improvement of bus stops in the area. The Town Halls have committed to the cleaning and maintenance as well as the cost of electricity supply.

Alcúdia Bay experiences a high demand for bus transport with about two million passengers per year. The entire project aims to improve travel time and offer better service, with work in twelve locations.

Five future locations are Hotel Viva; Hotel Delfin Azul; Hotel Boccaccio; Lago Grande and Hotel Condesa Bahía in Alcudia and Las Gaviotas; Hotel Iberostar Playa de Muro; Hotel Playa Esperanza; Hotel Parc Natural; Hotel Alcúdia Pins and Camping de Muro in Muro. Improvements and installations will include new shelters, lighting and pedestrian access.

The project is financed by the Mallorca Transport Consortium and the budget for the work is €348,124 in Alcudia and €423,148 in Muro.

Pedibus Alcudia

A bus route of a different kind has been established by the council of Alcudia with a School Paths Project, which aims to establish a series of safe routes for schoolchildren at certain times of the day. While encouraging social interaction for children, it is  also an urban sustainability project and eases the reliance on the car. The Pedibus is a group of children accompanied by one or more adults on their way to school on foot but along a safe route.

The latest announcement was the second phase of the project and new sections have been introduced to reach a wider radius of 2.5 km; surrounding the four public primary schools in Alcudia.

Pollensa’s Problematic Pine

2018’s Sant Antoni party with the Pine last month will go down in history for its catalogue of disasters, from the upturned cart to the snapping of the pine as it arrived at Plaza Vella. A few were injured and the events have led to the council making some changes to reinforce the security of the fiesta from next year. The changes include a maximum height, thickness and weight of the tree.

The security commission will also explore changes in the pine transport cart; the route into town; the crowd capacity in Plaza Vella; alcohol consumption; and the soap with which the trunk is smeared. Party-goers placed more slippery substance to the tree, which increased the difficulty considerably. In fact, it was not until after 1am that Joan Vanrell managed to get to the top. By this time, the missing live chicken was far from everyone’s minds.

The two policemen who were injured when the cart overturned were at home the same night recovering from bruises. Two men suffered facial injuries when the pine snapped and were discharged from hospital the next day. 

The government team chaired by Mayor Miquel Àngel March admitted “possible errors”, the pine was thicker than usual, making it less flexible. Regarding the extra soap on the trunk, it is “not the first time” it’s happened but it is to be monitored more closely. Local police do this, but this year the focus was on ensuring no live chickens were placed onto the top of the tree.

Ternelles Access

The Ternelles estate has closed its gates and is only giving access to those entering with their official guide between Wednesdays and Sundays, the farm administrator, Toni Coll, announced at the end of last month. 

Pollensa Town Hall refuses to accept the new limits and is still issuing passes through the municipal website. The estate bases its decision on a technical study on the accessibility to the sea from the Ariant and Ternelles farms, carried out by the UIB in 2002 on behalf of the Consell de Mallorca and the Town Hall itself. This study proposed a “set of corrective measures to mitigate the negative environmental impact of public use of roads”, including the need to control the number of visitors and that hikers go with guides.

Ever since, the Town Hall and the Estate have been fighting in the courts. The Supreme Court dictated a sentence that established that the road was private, but there had to be guaranteed access to the sea. As of 2006, the council issued authorizations of 20 per day (10 more than what was recommended by the UIB study). There were never guides.

When the so-called exclusion zones were set up, the TSJB concluded that the public servitude ceased to have meaning given that, in fact, the exclusion zone of Cala Castell prevents reaching
the sea.

The case again reached the Supreme Court, which annulled the decision of the TSJB, but forced the council to adapt the PORN de la Serra rules that recognized these exclusion zones. Six months later, Pollensa Town Hall has not complied with the sentence and the Estate has now found a legal loophole to take over the management without giving up public access. 

Access is free and can be booked at www.visitaguiadaternelles.com