MEPA rakes in €2.75 million from St Paul’s Bay parking scheme

MEPA has received €2.75 million from the Commuted Parking Payment Scheme in St Paul’s Bay since its introduction in 1998

The Malta Environment and Planning Authority has raked in €2.75 million from the Commuted Parking Payment Scheme (CPPS) in St Paul’s Bay alone.

The scheme was first introduced in the locality in 1998 and last year the scheme generated €86,186. This was a far cry from the €352,900 collected in 2007.

In reply to a Parliamentary question by opposition MP Censu Galea, the Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that out of the €2.75 million collected, €85,837 were spent in refunds, €567,289 in administrative fees, €5,649 in initiatives and projects in St Paul’s Bay and a further €6,791 in projects in other localities.

The CPPS is directly financed by fees developers, businesses and shop owners pay to MEPA if they are unable to provide the required parking facilities for their projects – for example, underground garages for a block of apartments.

The fee applies to all developments entailing a change of use of an existing building to a new use that carries a higher parking requirement than the old one, for example change of use from a shop to a restaurant or bar.

The fee is also charged when a developer builds additional floors on top of an existing building as well as on all developments in Urban Conservation Areas, or areas proposed for pedestrianisation.

The fee is only charged on developments taking place inside 11 major Maltese localities. The scheme was originally introduced in the nineties in Valletta, Floriana and St Julian’s and was later extended to other localities including St Paul’s Bay.

MEPA policy clearly states that the CPPS is to be used “for the construction of car parks as well as for the provision of local public transport systems and infrastructure of ancillary facilities”.

Funds can be spent on public transport infrastructure such as bus lanes and priority measures, bus shelters, signage and line markings; the improvement of information to the public such as real-time information on bus stops, better route-maps or user- friendly timetables.