Barcelona town wiped from Google Maps to tackle tourist influx

A rural Spainish town inundated with tourists is celebrating after being wiped off Google and Apple maps.

Elderly residents of La Salut, near Barcelona, complained for years about being unable to get home because the number 116 bus is always packed.

Now they have the service all to themselves after the city council arranged to have the route deleted online.

Visitors flocked to the area to see Park Güell, a cluster of mosaic-covered buildings, staircases and public squares designed like a fairytale village by renowned architect Antoni Gaudí.

It is also famous for its tapas bars and seafood restaurants.

Local César Sánchez initially laughed at the idea at a time when other places go to any lengths to attract holidaymakers.

He said: “We’re amazed that the measure has been so effective.”

Sánchez, who has been campaigning for eight years for his council to address the problem, joked: “The next thing we need to do is to get the whole of Park Güell removed from Google Maps.”

Another resident Luz López, 75, told “Before, the bus was so full even people with walking sticks couldn’t get on.”

Albert Batlle, deputy mayor of security and coexistence, said that as well as improving mobility around Park Güell, the district in Catalonia needed to eliminate references to the No 116 on the internet.

He declined to say whether the council had asked for the route to be removed.

A Google spokesman would only say they would not delete a bus route unless requested to do so by the local authority.

Finding space on the 20-seater minibus was said to be impossible as nearby Carmel Hill attracts around nine million people a year.