The second vice-president, Javier Torres, explained that 352 sanctioning proceedings have been initiated for transport infractions and highlighted the expansion of resources and the common front created with local police and State Security Forces to fight unfair competition in the sector.
The second vice-president and councillor for Innovation, Transparency, Participation and Transport of the Consell Insular de Eivissa, Javier Torres, presented the 2022 balance sheet of the Inspection service at a press conference held at the island institution’s headquarters, in which he highlighted the collection of 299,018.23 euros derived from transport complaints, almost double that of 2019.
Up to 10 November, a total of 353 sanctioning proceedings had been instigated (4 in 2019, 341 in 2021 and 8 in 2022), twice as many as in 2019, and 271 complaints had been qualified, of which 17% corresponded to vehicles operating as illegal taxis.
“During Covid-19 the Department of Transport did not stop the pressure against unfair competition in the transport sector but increased it by implementing new forms of action and doubling the staff of the Inspection and Instruction service. In addition, the common front created with local councils and local police and the State Security Forces and Corps has led to a more agile fight against illegals. With this common front, we have sent a clear warning to the illegals: impunity is over: when we have legal tools, we act and this is demonstrated by the 52 vehicles immobilised and transferred to the depot placed at the disposal of the Guardia Civil for offering illegal transport services”, said Torres.
This intense work of the Transport Inspection service is reflected in the economic collection derived from the transport sanctioning files: 162,136.80 euros in 2019, 163,355.00 euros in 2020, 284,902.30 euros in 2021 and up to 1 November 299,018.23, the highest figure of this legislature.
As for the complaints, in 2019, 297 were qualified; in 2020, 125; last year, 364 and this year, until November, 271, of which 93 have been filed by the Transport Inspection Service of the Consell.
This decrease is mainly due to the reduction in the number of offences registered by VTCs. Specifically, this year 26 complaints have been filed against VTCs, compared to 251 last year. “We must remember that the Consell Insular de Eivissa was one of the first administrations to immobilise relocated VTCs and that was a strong warning: whoever breaks the law, pays for it,” explained Torres, who also added that, for the first time, the Department of Transport is offering the Civil Guard a towing and deposit service for the immobilised illegal taxis, providing a solution to the saturation of the vehicle deposits.
Precisely in order to free up space in these municipal facilities, the Consell Insular de Eivissa has asked the Government of the Balearic Islands for greater collaboration in this fight and to join the common front formed in Eivissa against legal transport: “In the 2021 general policy debate plenary session we approved asking the Government for a legislative modification to speed up the procedure for scrapping immobilised vehicles that are in municipal depots to operate as illegal taxis and despite sending them the proposal, after a year and a half we have not received a response,” lamented Torres.
The Second Vice-president and Councillor for Transport pointed out other initiatives that have been put in place to combat intrusion in the transport sector more effectively, such as, for example, the reactivation of the Sectoral Mobility Council (which includes the commission for illegal transport, which coordinates joint actions with the local police, National Police, Guardia Civil and the Traffic Group) and the referral of complaints to the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Finally, Torres has maintained that these measures are productive thanks to the involvement and professionalism of the Transport inspection service, which, with 93 complaints has multiplied by 9 the figure compared to 2016, when 10 complaints were registered in this area. “The efforts of the transport inspection staff have been essential to be able to increase the pressure against offenders, especially taking into account the legal difficulties in reporting a pirate taxi driver, the main one being that customers must recognise that they have been charged for the illegal service”, concluded Torres, who before the press conference met with representatives of the sector to present these data.