Overwhelming support for Gozo-Malta tunnel, racetrack

We polled the nation on whether they agree with the proposed link between Malta and Gozo, the possibility of a new racetrack and the government’s efforts to turn the country into ‘Blockchain Island’

The vast majority of respondents said they were in favour of the government building both a racetrack and a tunnel connecting Malta and Gozo
The vast majority of respondents said they were in favour of the government building both a racetrack and a tunnel connecting Malta and Gozo

Support for a Gozo-Malta tunnel cuts across all age groups and all regions, according to the latest polling data.

A MaltaToday survey found that 63.1% of people agree with the construction of a Gozo-Malta tunnel, with opposition running at 24.4%.

And it is not just Gozitans who are in favour of a tunnel link between both islands, an electorcal pledge for which geological studies were completed last summer.

The survey found that support for a tunnel runs at 60% and higher, across all regions in Malta.

The tunnel is expected to be 13km long with exit and entry points at Nadur in Gozo and Imbordin on the Malta side.

It will be some 50 metres below the seabed and further studies are underway as part of the environmental impact assessment.

While 66% of Gozitans agree with a tunnel, opposition to the idea runs at a lowly 9.5%. However, Gozitans are also the most uncertain about the project with 24.5% unsure whether they agree or not with a tunnel connection to Malta.

The strongest support for a tunnel is in the South Eastern region where 69% agree with the project, followed by the Southern Harbour region (65.6%).

Opposition to the tunnel was strongest in the Northern Harbour region, where 29.7% of people disagree. But even here, agreement with the project runs at 60.3%.

READ MORE: Malta-Gozo tunnel tenders to be published in 2019

This broad support is also reflected across all age groups.

Agreement is highest among those aged between 51 and 65 (67.1%) and lowest among the elderly (56.3%).

Support for the construction of a tunnel is also forthcoming from those aged between 18 and 35 (61.5%).

Even though an absolute majority of women are in favour of a tunnel (59%), men are stronger supporters of the project (66.6%).

Support for the tunnel is very strong among 2017 Labour Party voters with 74.7% agreeing with the project. On the other hand, 48.8% of Nationalist Party voters said they agreed with the tunnel, with 37.9% giving the project a thumbs down.

...even car racing track gets huge thumbs up

There was strong cross-generational, regional and political support for the construction of a motorsport racing track, a MaltaToday survey has found.

The survey found that 71.6% of people agreed with a racing track with just 17.6% opposed to the idea.

The figures will go down well with motorsport enthusiasts, who have long clamoured for a racing track to practise their sport.

The government is currently working to identify an appropriate site for the construction of a track that would satisfy the minimum international standards to host Formula 3 events. The construction of a race track is also supported by the Nationalist Party.

This cross-party support for the idea is reflected in the survey findings with 81.1% of those who voted for the Labour Party last year, and 64.4% of Nationalist Party voters, agreeing with the idea.

Support for such a track cuts also cuts across all regions. The weakest support is in Gozo where 52.9% agree with such a proposal and the strongest is in the Northern region where support runs at a whopping 80.1%.

The strongest opposition to a race track is, however, not in Gozo but in the Northern Harbour region where 19.1% disagree.

But despite having the highest rate of disagreement, people in the Northern Harbour region still show overwhelming support (71.1%) for a race track.

The survey simply asked people whether they agreed with the construction of a motorsport racing track without specifying any particular location.

Although Sports Parliamentary Secretary Clifton Grima has said the government has zoomed in on a particular location, he has refrained from identifying the place.

READ MORE: Motorsports race track will take up 170,000 square metres of land

Grima has confirmed that government is looking at a track covering an area of approximately 170,000sq.m and a length of between 2km and 2.7km.

However, sources told MaltaToday last week that the government was evaluating a tract of land bordering the Hal Far industrial estate.

The survey was conducted between 5 November and 8 November.

The results also show that both men and women support the idea of a race track. The survey found that 67.3% of women and 75.4% of men agreed with a race track.

Malta aims to become the 'blockchain island'
Malta aims to become the 'blockchain island'

‘Blockchain island’.... but only a quarter know what it is

We also polled people and asked them if they had heard about Blockchain and if they know what it is.

People appear to be listening to government’s pitch that Malta is ‘the Blockchain island’ despite only a quarter claiming to know what it is.

The survey found that 59.1% of people had heard of Blockchain technology. Men appeared to be more attuned, with 66.9% admitting to have heard about Blockchain as opposed to women who are split right down the middle.

Blockchain resonated most with those aged between 36 and 50 with 70.7% saying they heard about the technology, followed by the young (61.9%).

As expected, Blockchain was less known among the elderly, however, even in this cohort there were a significant 42.3% who heard about the technology.

Blockchain was increasingly a more familiar term among those with a higher education attainment level. In fact, among those with a tertiary level of education, 83.3% had heard about Blockchain, as opposed to those with a primary level of education where only 36.4% heard about Blockchain.

Gozo came out on top as the region with the highest response for people who heard about Blockchain (69.7%).

But the survey also found an expected split between having heard about Blockchain, and actually knowing what it was.

From the 59.1% who heard about Blockchain, 44.2% answered yes when asked whether they knew what Blockchain was.

This is equivalent to around 26% of the whole population, who actually know, or claim to know, what Blockchain technology is.

Once again, the university educated were those who exhibited the highest knowledge on Blockchain.

The survey was conducted a few days after Malta hosted a two-day Blockchain summit, which meant that the terminology was used quite often in the media and by politicians.

Earlier this year government passed legislation to regulate distributed leger technology, otherwise known as Blockchain.

Blockchain is a technological process that allows for a more accountable and transparent manner by which information can be stored and accessed.

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