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Areas Urbanism & territory, Tourism and Economic activities Mobility

Decision to slash metred parking pay period fuelled by resident requests, officials say

Ple desembre 2015 premsaThe Formentera Council convened officials and party representatives for the administration's final plenary assembly of 2015. The session was marked by the announcement that definitive approval had been secured for the administration's 2016 budget and of a deal reached by the cabinet committee concerning 12 comments on legislation behind a tax on holiday rentals. Tourism secretary Alejandra Ferrer said the administration would support the measure “as a means to an end to benefit a clear cause, namely the environment”.

The assembly approved the early stage of a plan to tweak the regulatory tax code related to vehicle parking in La Savina, plus a revamping of the regulatory by-law defining the town's parking services. The two proposals won backing from every group save for abstaining Partido Popular representatives. Mobility secretary Rafael González outlined the central features of the planned changes and, in response to requests from the La Savina neighbourhood association and representatives of area businesses, highlighted a rollback in the pay-to-park system's summer hours (metred service will be in effect 9.00am—9.00pm instead of until midnight), explaining that “no parking issues arose during that part of the evening”.

The other important change González pointed to was the creation of parking plans for €200 a month in summer and €100/month in winter. For full-time Formentera residents that amount will be fully refundable and for home-owners or renters in La Savina who stay on the island for more than three months yearly, it will be half off. González explained islanders could expect to see a phase-out of free parking decals as “controls will henceforth be conducted directly via parking metres”.

Individuals with reduced mobility will be exempt and not required to obtain a parking pass. The secretary also highlighted efforts currently under way to find an overflow lot where motorists could park a maximum of five days in a row. Representatives of PSOE and Compromís praised the metred parking system's inaugural year. PP representatives, for their part, criticised what they called “changes which were rushed through”.

The session also ended in unanimous support for the proposed creation of a regulation concerning volunteers for sporting events. Two PSOE measures that got cross-party support involved the implementation of renewable energy systems in Council buildings and an appeal to the central government in Madrid to protect the right to housing.

Alternate car park in la Savina closes

The Formentera Council was unable to renegotiate a rental contract for the land used for the 'dissuasive' car park in la Savina. Located on a lake-side lot opposite the Illes Pitiüses park, the site provided an alternate parking solution for drivers who don't have the free-parking decal. Cars currently parked in the lot must move their vehicles from it in the days to come.

Administration officials lamented their inability to reach an understanding with the lot owners and continue giving drivers in la Savina an alternative to the system of regulated parking. The department of transport is working to find another space where drivers can park for free even if they don't have the pass required for the blue and green zone parking system.

Winter hours take effect for la Savina street parking

Aparcament la Savina premsaEmployees of Formentera’s office of transport announced today that, effective Sunday 1 November, winter hours will be in use at regulated parking spots across la Savina. The pay-to-park system will apply Monday through Saturday mornings from nine a.m. to two p.m., and afternoons, Monday through Friday, four to eight. Parking will be free on Sundays and bank holidays. The winter scheme will remain effective until 1 May.

Beginning Sunday, residents and local businesses with the pay-to-park decal will be able to leave vehicles for up to 3 days in both blue and green zones; in summer this period was just one day. For decal-holders residing in la Savina, the 3-day limit for blue-zone parking is in addition to a 15-day limit.

Positive feedback
Transport councillor Rafael González gave positive reviews of the programme in its first summer: «We met all of our goals; people who wanted to patronise businesses in la Savina – or park and catch the Eivissa ferry – were able to use the new system without any problems. The same for la Savina town residents». Councillor González said that in the first six months of application, the Formentera Council collected 120,000€.

González also reminded residents that drivers without a decal can park at the 110-space lot opposite the Illes Pitiüses park, next to l’Estany des Peix, and that drivers of electric vehicles though not in possession of a decal are always free to park in blue zones.

Roll out of winter rates at Es Pujols car park

parquing p europa premsaThe Formentera Council's transport office has announced that from this Sunday, 1 November, winter parking rates will apply in the underground car park at plaça Europa in Es Pujols. New to this season's price scheme are special rates for users who purchase bi-annual (semestral) spots. «Reductions», explained transport councillor Rafael González, «will be applied for any individual or business that commits to bi-annual use (un abonament) for more than ten vehicles». This winter, Council officials hope to see more residents using the car park, which until now, the CiF councillor pointed out, «has often remained empty in winter months».

Rates
A bi-annual commitment at the car park lasts for six months, from the beginning of November through the end of April, and has a cost of 150 euros. The monthly equivalent is priced at 25 euros. Both are available to Es Pujols residents, employees and owners of local business and area homeowners. Those with bi-annual abonament are guaranteed a reserved spot, while for monthly users this is subject to availability.

Another new feature of the rates scheme allows vehicle owners to benefit from discounts if they purchase an abonament for more than ten vehicles. The bi-annual rate for 11 to 20 vehicles is 135 euros; 120€ for 21 to 30 and 100€ for 31 and up. Other rate plans include: yearly (720€), weekly (35€) or hourly (1.70€).

Abonaments can be requested at the Citizens' Information Office (OAC) and will be accorded in the order applications are received. The plaça Europa car park has capacity for 136 vehicles. Twenty-five percent of spaces are held for temporary users. Last year was the first year the bi-annual rate was offered, and eight drivers opted for its use.

On car free day, bus users ride no charge

dia sense cotxe premsaToday, Tuesday 22 September, the Formentera Council's office of transport feted European Car Free Day. All day long, to mark the occasion, ticket requirements were waived on bus lines 1 and 2 and —as transport councillor Rafael González explained— this morning organisers pitched an exhibition of electric vehicles at the plaça de la Constitució in Sant Francesc.

Promoting a sustainable island
González declared that the goal of the two actions had been to «strive for sustainable transport on the island, and to make this something that sets us apart». The dimensions of Formentera, said the councillor, «make it the ideal island for the promotion of these kinds of vehicles, which are increasingly feasible».

«This is exactly why the administration has long been behind the effort to promote their use», he elaborated. González highlighted some of the advantages of electric cars: parking in blue and green zones of la Savina and access to the Parc Natural de Ses Illetes that are both free of charge, as well as a 75% reduction on the local circulation tax.

Network of recharge points
In due form, the Formentera Council has built up a network of 12 electric vehicle recharge stations, scattered across the different urban centres of the island. With the totality of the costs met by the administration, the stations allow 28 drivers to charge their automobiles completely free.

The day's exhibition of electric cars and scooters enjoyed the participation of two of the three Formentera businesses that have made important investments in sustainable transport, Cooltra and Europcar. Also on display were an electric scooter from the Formentera Local Police vehicle fleet and an electric bicycle available to Council staff. Residents and tourists alike were given the opportunity to get a close-up look at how the two vehicles work.

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