MaltaToday survey: Traffic concern slips from top spot in the harbour regions

This suggests gridlock is a major problem for people living in Mellieħa, St Paul’s Bay, Mgarr, Għargħur, Mosta and Naxxar, than anywhere else

Traffic may top the list of concerns but it is a significantly higher preoccupation for those living in the Northern region, a MaltaToday survey found.

In this region, traffic was a concern for 31% of respondents, by far the highest across all regions.

This suggests gridlock is a major problem for people living in Mellieħa, St Paul’s Bay, Mgarr, Għargħur, Mosta and Naxxar, than anywhere else.

Next in line is Gozo, where traffic tops the list of concerns with 23.7%, which probably reflects the commute to and from Malta many Gozitans make every day, rather than the problems they face on the sister island.

The survey was published last Sunday and was held between 28 May and 31 May. People were asked to list their three topmost concerns and traffic came out on top with 16.6%.

But despite traffic emerging as the highest concern overall, it slipped from the top spot in the Northern Harbour and Southern Harbour regions.

People here have slightly differing concerns.

While traffic was a concern for 12.3% of people in the Northern Harbour area, corruption came out on top with 14.3%. This is probably a reflection of the predominant localities with a traditional Nationalist Party background. Overall, corruption was identified as a concern by 12.3% of survey respondents.

On the opposite side, in the Southern Harbour, traffic slipped to fourth place with 8.2%. Here, the topmost concern was foreigners (a combination of concerns on illegal immigrants and foreigners in Malta) that ran at 20.1%.

This was followed by criminality at 11.1%, which barely featured as a concern in other regions. It is unclear whether the two concerns are linked (the survey did not ask people to give reasons for their concerns) but Marsa was in the news late last year after the locality’s mayor highlighted the problems caused by unsocial behaviour of migrants who live in the town.

Environmental destruction featured among the top three concerns in all regions, bar the Western region, where it slipped to fifth with 5.7%.

This region includes localities like Rabat, Siggiewi, Attard, Balzan and Iklin. But while environmental destruction appears to be less of an issue here, concern with construction and the inconvenience it causes ran at 7.8%, the second highest across all of Malta and Gozo.

The Northern region was where the preoccupation with construction stood the highest at 8%.

Another outlier was the concern with the parliamentary Opposition, expressed by residents of the South East. In this region, the Opposition was indicated as a concern by 7% of people.

Concern with the Opposition also ran relatively high in the Western region where it was identified by 5.4%.

The overall survey result saw the Opposition being mentioned by 3% of respondents.


This survey was carried out between Monday 28 May and Thursday 31 May 2018. Stratified random sampling defined by age, gender and region discriminants were used to replicate the fidelity of the population. 552 respondents chose to take part in the survey. The margin of error for a confidence interval of 95% is estimated at 4.2%.

Regions used in the survey

The regions are based on the classification determined by the National Statistics Office.

Southern Harbour: Valletta, Vittoriosa, Senglea, Cospicua, Zabbar, Fgura, Floriana, Kalkara, Luqa, Marsa, Paola, Sta Lucija, Tarxien, Xghajra.

Northern Harbour: Qormi, Birkirkara, Gzira, Hamrun, Msida, Pembroke, Pieta, St Julian’s, San Gwann, St Venera, Sliema, Swieqi, Ta’ Xbiex.

South Eastern: Zejtun, Birzebbuga, Gudja, Ghaxaq, Kirkop, Marsascala, Marsaxlokk, Mqabba, Qrendi, Safi, Zurrieq.

Western: Mdina, Zebbug, Siggiewi, Attard, Balzan, Dingli, Iklin, Lija, Rabat, Mtarfa.

Northern: Gharghur, Mellieha, Mgarr, Mosta, Naxxar, St Paul’s Bay.

Gozo: Gozo and Comino.