It might well have passed you by, but the Policia Local in Orihuela introduced a controversial ban of mopeds last week, in several streets around the central area of Los Andenes. The ban was instituted unilaterally by the chief of police José María Pomares, after complaints from local residents about the noise.
But following even more complaints the measure has now been rescinded by the councillor for Traffic Management, Mariola Rocamora.
The councillor said that measure had been adopted by the Local Police Headquarters unilaterally and admitted that it has now been repealed due to the commotion caused by residents and merchants.
Signs that prohibited the circulation of mopeds were introduced to the city centre a few days ago in Avenida Teodomiro (Los Andenes) in the direction of the train and bus station, and at the start of Avenida de la Vega, as well as in some of the surrounding streets. The objective was to reduce neighborhood complaints of the noise caused by these vehicles, but the measure has generated a backlash that has forced the authorities to do a u turn.
Rocamora is now saying that the measure was adopted “as a test because they did not know the consequences it’s implementation would have to residents and to businesses in the area.”
Meanwhile, José María Pomares, the Chief of Police, who introduced the measure explained that the reason for having adopted the ban was the “large number” of complaints from residents about the “excessive noise made by mopeds.”
He said that it justified that these vehicles and not motorcycles should be prohibited because they are driven “mainly by youths under 20 years of age; young people who, due to their age, do not realise the noise that they cause when travelling through residential areas.”
When asked if any moped drivers had been sanctioned during the few days that the ban had been in place neither the councillor or the Chief of Police was able to provide an answer.
The councillor has now asked the Local Police to intensify the controls in the centre of Orihuela to counteract noise and check that these vehicles comply with current regulations so that they do not exceed the permitted number of decibels.