ADPD wants hybrid metro-tram system to avoid large volumes of excavation waste

ADPD chairperson Carmel Cacopardo urges government to publish all technical studies on metro proposal, advocates a mixed underground and street-level mass transport system

Sliema metro station: The proposed metro system identifies 25 stations in the main urban areas
Sliema metro station: The proposed metro system identifies 25 stations in the main urban areas

A mass transport system that is completely underground create large volumes of excavation waste, ADPD said as it called for a hybrid system that incorporates street-level trams.

Reacting to a government proposal for a metro that will connect the main urban areas, ADPD chairperson Carmel Cacopardo said a fully underground system will lead to large-scale dumping at sea and forced land reclamation.

“We disagree with this and large scale dumping at sea should be avoided. All cards should be placed on the table such that the public discussion can also assess the potential for a solution which is as far as possible over ground,” he said.

ADPD wants a hybrid system that is part underground and part street-level.

“The choice of a hybrid metro-tram system at street level, on the other hand does not generate the huge amounts of waste that forces us to go for forced land reclamation. It can be implemented in a shorter time frame and is much less costly, apart from causing much less environmental damage,” Cacopardo said.

He urged government to publish all technical reports and studies that have been conducted so that a “serious” public discussion can take place on the different options.

“We agree that a mass transport system is an urgent necessity, because as we have been insisting all along the expenditure on massive road building is a huge waste of money… [but] It is impossible to have a serious public consultation exercise if these reports are not made public,” Cacopardo said.

The project website does not provide access to the technical studies that led government’s advisors, Arup, to propose a metro system.

“To date all we have had are PR stunts and very general information – logos and flashy video clips are not the information we need for a mature discussion. We call for a mature discussion with all the information available for public scrutiny,” he said.