No charges from next September
Good news for road users – the road tunnel to and from Soller will be completely free to use from 1st September. What is currently the most expensive road tunnel to use in all of Spain based on price per kilometre will from then cost absolutely zilch, zero, nada or nothing!
For around 20 years now a campaign has been waged to cut the costs to the long suffering citizens of the island and its visitors to get to one of its most beautiful and popular areas which now appears to have succeeded.
The tunnel's management was in the hands of a private company who had a very long contract to run and make profit from it. Now the Mallorca authorities have announced that – and I'm simplifying the legalese here – to buy back the contract and run the tunnel themselves.
It will cost them over €15 million to do this and they'll also have to cough up 660,000 a year until 2022 to maintain the tunnel, which in itself sounds a lot of money, but they will actually be saving cash on the current arrangement. Residents of Soller do not pay the full €5 toll to use the tunnel, but a subsidised €1.30 and the authorities pay the rest to the tunnel company. This currently costs them €1.5 million, so they'll be in pocket on the deal!
The free tunnel will certainly make life easier for all concerned, even down to cutting the time in a queue waiting to pay the toll at the tunnel entrance and exit on the Palma side. Have a look at an article I wrote a while ago about the history of the tunnel and how it was for everyone before its arrival.
Photo credit – Google maps