Sr Vilafranca: limit summer vehicles

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Letter dated 14 May 2024 sent to Mr Adolfo Vilafranca, President of the Island Governing Council of Menorca.

Distinguished Sir,

These days social talk against the growing overcrowding of tourists is evident. So much so that we are seeing significant changes taking place in the public discourse of the main representatives of the island councils of Mallorca and Ibiza, as well as the President herself of the Balearic Islands Government. We would like to ask you also to express your feelings on this matter.

We have heard Ms Prohens recognise that the islands have reached saturation point, that the Mallorca Council is announcing a ceiling to tourist places and that Ibiza Council approves (with the favourable vote of the Partido Popular) a legislative initiative to limit the number of vehicles on the island.

We have been discussing these questions in Menorca for some time. On 18 March this year, GOB interceded on behalf of the public at a plenary meeting of the Island Council, by raising the urgent matter of placing a limit on the number of rental vehicles and of those that come by boat in the summer.

On that day, Mr Vilafranca, the President of GOB explained the danger of losing the sustainability route that the island has been able to follow. She asked you to make use of the ability won by Menorca, from the Law of the Reserve of the Biosphere, to limit the number of vehicles allowed here in the summer, as a tool to begin to put a ceiling on the unlimited growth we are suffering.

At that plenary session, that was broadcast live, we reminded Mr Vilafranca, that the Island Council already has a detailed study warning that Menorca is suffering an excess of vehicles of nearly 20% in June and September and of 30% in July and August.

Given that the data shows this excess of vehicles and an ability to set a limit all that is necessary is for a decision to be made.

Mr President, you replied (minuted 13.29) “there are other more urgent things” and with respect to the current study warning of the excess of vehicles you commented, “that no (Council) expert wanted to subscribe to this”. In this regard, we wish to make an important clarification.

GOB has a copy of the technical experts’ report from the Department of Transport relating to the above-mentioned study, which was commissioned from a specialist office and sent to the Island Council dated 7 July 2023.

The technical experts’ report from the Department of Transport is a study that analyses the socioeconomic and statistical data of vehicle capacity; the evolution of the car fleet; the parking supply; the supply and demand of public transport; the supply of taxis; car rental; the Island arrivals and departures by boat and by plane; the distribution and different types of tourist accommodation…The report also diagnoses the private vehicle transport of residents and visitors, considers the impact of mass private vehicle use on the island and proposes measures to mitigate this impact.

The report concludes that the work was substantially tailored to the order and that tendered in the dossier and it does not have any evident errors or discrepancies. It is a work paid for by public funds.

Mr Vilafranca, this report negates your words at the Plenary Session and in front of all the people who have followed this subject. It reinforces the idea held by everyone that there is a lack of decision making by the government party on this matter.

For these reasons, today, we wish to remind you that you now manage the prinicipal institution of Menorca, an island that has worked hard to make a different way from unlimited overcrowding and that is, furthermore, a Reserve of the Biosphere.

Our island is already suffering the effects of increasing amounts of saturation. Forecasted plans have to be revised, the management of resources has to be improved, and, above all, it is necessary to take courage and find another way, another direction.

Mr Vilafranca, do not waste any time. Do not allow Menorca to be the only island that does not react. The Menorcan public will not accept this.

From the Balearic News

Ibiza goes ahead in limiting the entry of vehicles while Menorca postpones

At a plenary meeting of the Ibiza Council, approval was given to take to Parliament the proposal of a law that would authorize the adoption of this measure.