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Areas Urbanism & territory, Tourism and Economic activities Mobility

Formentera begins regulating vehicle entry

inici-regulacio-formenteraIn a press conference held today, the Formentera Council's president and councillor of mobility, Alejandra Ferrer and Rafael González, announced details about a system to regulate how motorists bring vehicles to the island—plus how they drive and park once they are here—which will be in place from 1 July to 31 August.

Marking the launch of a programme which is the first of its kind in Spain, President Ferrer called it “a historic day”. “Our future and sustainability are inextricably intwined”, she said, “so we've taken this bold step to make the island sustainable financially, environmentally and socially, too”.

Ferrer reminded islanders of the twists and turns that have occurred since 2014, when residents asked authorities to regulate vehicle entry on the island as a way to reduce congestion on roads during the central months of summer. Legislation for Formentera's environmental and economic sustainability passed on 29 January, laying the groundwork for the Formentera Council to take the reins on capping the vehicles being driven on local roads in summer.

1 July is the first day of “regulated entry”. Companies that transport vehicles to Formentera collaborate by reminding motorists that special permission will now be required to drive. According to Councillor González, passengers will also be informed that “if they haven't gotten it yet, space is still available and authorisation can be requested on formentera.eco during the trip from Eivissa to Formentera”. Several weeks back, ferry companies began announcing on their websites that special accreditation would be required to operate a vehicle on the island in July and August.

The summer driving permit is free for all residents of the Balearic islands. Non-resident tourists must pay €1/day to operate a car and €0.50/day for scooters. Fines for motorists caught driving without the permit range from €1,000 to €10,000, though Councillor González said the priority now would be to educate drivers, and that fines would only be issued as a last resort. A camera installed at the only point of vehicle ingress and exit on the island—at carrer Almadrava in la Savina—will automatically check entering vehicles' plate number against the master list of authorised vehicles, and unauthorised vehicles will trigger an alert.

The mobility councillor pointed out that, on average, roughly twenty thousand vehicles—cars or scooters—can be on the road on any given day of the implementation period. Last summer, the total number of vehicles on the island peaked at twenty-two thousand. González explained that authorities used last year's maximum to set this summer's cap, ensuring that “for the first time ever, Formentera is on track to buck the trend of ever-increasing vehicles on our roads”.

The initiative will be reappraised before next summer to see to it necessary upgrades are performed and, in the words of González, to “make sure we hit our sustainability mark—to be a place that tourists want to visit and where we islanders want to live, now and in the years ahead”.

Educational campaign

The Formentera Council is also behind an information push that includes handing out six thousand pamphlets across ticket counters at the Eivissa and Formentera ferry docks and tourist information points. The outreach initiative's architects have put together a video for distribution on CiF social media accounts and viewing on ferry journeys. Translated in Catalan, Castilian Spanish, English and Italian, the initiative is aimed at reviewing the measure and linking it with the goal of local sustainability.

Complete details on the regulating scheme are also available on the formentera.eco reservation portal.

1 July 2019
Office of Communication
Formentera Council

Motorists to find out from today if July and August driving requests get green light

The Formentera Council mobility department reports that from today (31 May), motorists who have visited formentera.eco to seek authorisation to enter, drive and park on the island in July and August will begin receiving confirmation if their reservations are accepted.

Since its 15 April launch, the formentera.eco reservations portal has received 3,796 requests—1,936 by tourists, 823 by Formentera locals and 204 by residents of Eivissa.

Next week will come with the rollout of a payment portal where visitors from outside the Balearics who are subject to a daily fee of one euro to use their cars (or €0.50/day for scooters) can complete the process in a single step. The site can be accessed and credit card payment processed as soon as a petition has been made specifying the days one plans to visit.

Formentera residents are exempt from the fee, as are Eivissa residents and motorists in the rest of the Balearics. Authorisation will be automatic and the online application unnecessary for vehicles belonging to Formentera residents which have already been cleared for blue zone parking.

Rental cars
From next week car hire companies on the island will be notified by phone with the user name and password required for registration. Businesses must visit formentera.eco and click on the empreses de lloguer (car hire companies) section in the condicions especials (special conditions) part of the website. A plate number will be required to finalise the permit to operate a vehicle on local roads in July and August.

Acting mobility councillor Rafael González held up 2019 as year zero of the pathbreaking anti-congestion and conservation-forward programme in Spain. “It's also about giving tourists what they want: a calm, tranquil island where they can enjoy their holidays”.

31 May 2019
Office of Communication
Formentera Council

Outreach aims to bring tourists on board with 'blue zone' parking

foto-oficina-informacio---turi1The Formentera Council's mobility department is continuing in its push to bring drivers up to speed on the system of metred parking—estacionament regulat—that has been implemented across Formentera's largest towns in recent years.

“January was all about getting islanders on board with the setup”, said department councillor Rafael González, “now we're back with a retooled message for our visitors”, pointing out that the challenge this time was to address some of visiting motorists' blind spots concerning the new system.

After an initial unveiling in Catalan and Castilian, pamphlets—plus a website reviewing the ins and outs of the scheme—have been translated for English- and Italian- speaking tourists. Apart from clearing the air on the most common questions, the brochure goes over the mechanics of the system and the hours of enforcement.

Parking attendants and guides at tourist information points will target tourists and rental car outfits with the roughly 2,200 freshly printed brochures—half in Catalan/Castilian and half in English/Italian.

“The real final objective is for car hire companies and tourist information liaisons to send our visitors to www.zonablava.com”, said González, describing it as a dedicated site where drivers can find all the information and get “a straightforward explanation of how Formentera's metred parking system works”.

15 minutes for local business
A pillar of the new system is the recently unveiled 15-minute parking spaces implemented in blue zone areas in Sant Francesc and Sant Ferran. The spaces are free and open to everyone; drivers request a ticket that entitles them to 15 minutes of parking.

González pointed out that the 15-minute spaces are located in strategic points around towns, and said they grew out of a suggestion from local business owners about practical ways to ease congestion and give shoppers a way to get in and out quickly: “15 minutes to get your shopping done, and we're making getting to local businesses easier”.

May 24, 2019
Àrea de Comunicació
Formentera Council

Formentera regulates access at es Cap lighthouse May 15-October 15

cartel faro 2019-1-The Formentera Council's mobility department announces the reactivation, Wednesday May 15, of a scheme to limit motorcycle, car and moped access to es Cap de Barbaria lighthouse in 2019. The scheme will be enforced until October 15 in a bid to keep crowds at the monument to a minimum and preserve “Sa Tanca d'allà dins” as a tranquil, natural setting.

Tracing current plans to revive the apparatus to the success of last year's effort, secretary Rafael González said the setup was aimed at keeping crowds at the monument to a minimum and preserving a tranquil, natural setting.

Restricted access to the monument has been in effect the last two years, relying on a road block at kilometre marker 6.5 of the es Cap de Barbaria road. The setup was implemented on a pilot run from July 1 to September 15 in 2017 and June 25 to September 30 last year.

This year the period of regulation will be extended across the entire season to make sure visits to es Cap's far, or lighthouse, and the es Garroveret defense tower are pleasurable—and easy—for tourists and islanders alike.

With parking for 60 cars and 100 motor scooters is available on an adjacent plot, motorists can get out and walk or cycle the remainder of the path to the lighthouse.

Access for people with reduced mobility
During peak visiting hours, 11.00am to 1.00pm and 6.00pm to 10.00pm, an attendant beside the barrier will allow access to people with reduced mobility and provide visitors with information about the new measures.

The Formentera Council has put together a pamphlet that will be distributed at rental car agencies, tourist information offices and the es Cap entry and control point. Posters have also been published and will be posted at various points around the island, including Council bulletin boards.

May 13, 2019
Àrea de Comunicació
Formentera Council

80 new blue zone parking spaces added in la Savina

The Formentera Council's mobility office reports that the new blue zone parking on the western side of la Savina port—currently the site of parking for rental cars—will be incorporated into the island's metred or “regulated” parking scheme from tomorrow, Monday May 13.

The system will be unveiled—and will function just like in other parts of la Savina and other towns of the island—as soon as the Council obtains the go-ahead from the Balearic port authority to manage parking in the area.

The move will add 80 extra zona blava parking spaces in la Savina. An overflow parking lot has also been opened opposite plaça Illes Pitiüses.

May 12, 2019
Àrea de Comunicació
Formentera Council

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