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Council adds 5 electric Meharis to fleet

Foto presentacio E-MehariThe head of communications for the Spain-Portugal division of Groupe PSA, José Antonio León, along with his counterpart at Citroën Spain, Concha Caja, unveiled the new Electric Mehari on the Sant Francesc town square today. On hand for the ceremony were CiF president Jaume Ferrer, tourism councillor Alejandra Ferrer, transport councillor Rafael González and the chair of Formentera's tourism board, Carlos Bernús.

The automakers handed over five of the vehicles to the Council, which will put them to use for notification and inspection, tourism marketing and environmental services. The CiF president thanked the carmakers and vowed the measure would "contribute to a more sustainable Formentera.” He hailed it as a promising moment “for our island's model of growth and the protection of our natural resources, our landscapes and culture” and said the move meant “an improvement in Formentera residents' quality of life”.

León, for his part, highlighted a shared history between the Mehari and Formentera he said went back to the end of the 1960s. The PSA group head invoked the rollicking local response when the original Mehari arrived on the island and the iconic status it quickly gained. To him, the bonds between our island and the Mehari –“an alliance in favour of sustainable transport”– become even stronger with today's initiative.

Councillor Ferrer underscored that the dimensions of Formentera make it an ideal island for travel by electric car. She recalled Formentera's pioneering decision in the Balearics to install electric vehicle recharge points. There are now 32 public recharge spots and additional spots maintained by private establishments.

As Councillor Ferrer pointed out, the Council encourages the use of electric vehicles by providing free blue-zone parking and considerable rebates on the road tax as well as free entry to Ses Salines park and free vehicle recharges.

Controlled access at les Salines park begins today

The Formentera Council's Office of Transport has announced the launch today of controlled access to the Formentera swath of les Salines national park. As stated previously, one new feature of the system of regulated entry into the park is a ban on quads, a boon to sustainable transport and conservation efforts in the protected area.

Moreover, in a move aimed at reducing congestion during heavy traffic hours of the day, the summer system restricts entry of both regular service and private buses into the park. Freight vehicles, generally carrying goods to area restaurants, will also face restricted access during typical hours of high tourist traffic. Controlled access to les Salines park will be in place until September 30. 

Expanded service for municipal buses

Pujada busThe Formentera Council's Office of Transport has reported on new expanded service for the buses run by Autocares Paya S.L., the contract-holder for Formentera's bus service. Yesterday was the first day of service for two lines: 5, which links La Savina, Sant Francesc and Cala Saona, and 7, connecting Es Copinar and Ses Illetes. Service on line 1, which links La Savina port and Es Pujols, has been similarly expanded. That line will run from 7.30am to 9.30pm, with one bus per hour. Line 2 goes from La Savina port to La Mola. Buses on that line leave every two hours from 8.15am to 10.00pm.

Transport councillor Rafael González welcomed the service changes. He said they would mean “clear benefits for tourists and islanders alike” and called them “a step toward sustainable transport”. González indicated Autocares Paya's intent to continue expanding service until June 16, at which point they plan to be at 100%. Line 1 will get an additional morning and evening stop and line 2 will have buses that pass every hour. Line 5 will also receive expanded afternoon service. Councillor González also noted that Formentera's tourist bus, el Bus Turístic, has been operative since April 15. That route connects La Savina port, Ses Illetes, Es Pujols, el Mirador and La Mola lighthouse. There are currently four passages per day, but that will increase to 10. For more information, check out busformentera.com.

Summer hours in effect for parking in la Savina

Aparcament la Savina premsa2The Formentera Council's Office of Transport has announced summer changes to the regulated parking scheme in la Savina. From Sunday May 1, the following changes to blue and green zone parking will take effect: drivers can leave their cars parked a maximum of one day in summer, as opposed to the three-day limit applied in winter. Residents of la Savina, however, can continue parking up to 15 days provided they park in green zone spots. A change will also take place in the hours during which regulated parking is enforced: the daily timetable —which in winter extends from 9.00am-12 midnight— will now be from 9.00am to 9.00pm.

The changes, said transport councillor Rafael González, reflect requests made by residents and tradesmen of la Savina after the first summer of regulated parking. The councillor also announced 45 new parking places in la Savina for scooters, a move motivated by the observation that demand for parking spots outpaced availability. As set out in a municipal ordinance to that effect, there will be a maximum of three scooter parking areas in la Savina.

Crews put park roads to rights

Vial cami estany pudentThe Formentera Council Office of Infrastructure has overseen repairs and grading adjustments on nine roads in the Ses Salines park. Rafael González, the councillor of infrastructure for the Council, reported that “from mid-February to now improvements have been made along 9.6km of earth roads,” prepping the island for this summer's tourists and paving the way for eased traffic flow.

In addition to el camí de s'Estany Pudent and the three arterials that connect it with the main highway, the affected earth roads (camins) include: el camí de Mayans Pujols, el camí de Can Mussenya, el camí del Rocabella, el camí de Ses Illetes and el camí de Llevant.

To avoid disrupting birds during their nesting season, the Council's road works crew worked with the Office of Environment to finish the work before the month of April. The crew is now working on readying roads in the Migjorn area for the coming season. “Most of the repairs are to earth roads that are part of the island's green trails network. These are the roads the transport office would like to see cyclists and pedestrians using more”.

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