Foreign Office acts on Ibiza road toll

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The Independent Online
THE GROWING number of British "ravers" in Ibiza who are being knocked down and killed on the island's "highway of death" has prompted intervention by the Foreign Office.

Thirty-two foreign nationals have died on the island this year, many of them along road 731, which links Ibiza town with the island's main clubs. Four Britons have been killed, and one seriously injured on the road in the past two months.

There is an all-night bus for the clubbers, who disembarkoutside top clubs such as Amnesia and Privilege, but thenhave to cross one of the busiest and fastest roads on the island. According to Heat magazine, which is campaigning to improve safety on the road, the Spanish authorities have resisted installing street lighting or pedestrian crossings.

So seriously does the Foreign Office consider the growing death toll, it has askedSpanish officials to improve safety on the road. "British consular officials in Madrid and Ibiza have been to see the Spanish authorities over concerns about the safety of British nationals. We have asked for lighting to be installed on the highway," a Foreign Office spokesman said.

On 13 July, 20-year-old Guy Harrison and his girlfriend Vanessa Hawketts, 19, both from Birmingham, were killed on the road outside Amnesia. Vanessa's mother, Diane Hawketts, said: "Apparently these accidents are happening all the time and the area is a death trap." Two weeks later Keith Thomas, 18, and Lee Walkden, 17, from Merseyside were hit and killed by a car at the same spot. Two weeks ago a hit-and-run driver left Beckie Lee, 24, with her arms and legs broken.

One solution would be for the buses to pull into the clubs' entrance road but taxi drivers are against. One British promoter, who did not want to be named, said: "The taxi drivers are powerful enough to block any attempts to allow the buses to turn into the discos. You end up with a couple of thousand people running across the most dangerous road in Europe."