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As increased traffic looms, experts form think-tank to meet challenge

Debono Group’s brainchild Project Aegle sets up team to generate ideas

19 September 2016, 9:19am
Msida creek
Msida creek
As children prepare to go back to school, everyone else in the country is dreading the return once more to deadlocked traffic as a frustrating daily reality.

This has inspired the Debono Group to invite a range of experts to get together to generate ideas on how to make transportation sustainable in Malta and alleviate the island’s collective road rage.

Will large road infrastructure projects help solve the traffic mayhem? How can we make more efficient use of our cars? What role does the sharing economy play in all of this? And how should government policy be shaped to encourage best practice?

Spinola Bay
Spinola Bay
These are some of the questions the newly setup expert working group will seek to answer in the coming weeks. The initiative, Project Aegle, is the brainchild of the Debono Group, the local distributors for Toyota.

Project Aegle brings together experts in the field, including Prof. Maria Attard, Matthew Bezzina, Konrad Pule, Ranier Fsadni, Prof. Edward Mallia, Prof. Adrian Muscat and Dr Philip von Brockdorff.

Spinola Bay
Spinola Bay
Their task is to generate ideas and discussion thereon leading to the formulation of tangible recommendations for improved mobility.

“According to official figures, congestion costs the country 4% of its GDP. This cost is expected to increase to 8% by 2050. We envisage a future with an improved transport system and mobility options that would contribute to better health, increased wellbeing and a reduced impact on the environment, within the context of a stronger economy,” Group Director Geoffrey Debono said.

Pjazza Sant Anna, Sliema
Pjazza Sant Anna, Sliema
“We want to generate ideas that could be taken on by government, car drivers, police and road users to serve this greater purpose. We will also embark on a project aimed at collecting data on the local travel patterns to determine hot spots of traffic congestion and enable us to submit proposals, which could alleviate the current problems,” he added.

Project Aegle also aims to increase awareness about the unsustainable trends of transport in Malta and to disseminate information on how a shift towards better mobility and improved quality of life could be achieved.

“We are also rolling out a website to enable the public to contribute through a blog and be able to calculate the time consumed in traffic and report thereon.”