Parliament starts roads agency debate

Infrastructure Malta will be responsible for the building and upkeep of all Malta’s roads as part of the government’s electoral pledge to redo all roads in seven years

A new roads agency will be responsible for all Malta's roads
A new roads agency will be responsible for all Malta's roads

A new roads agency will consult councils to draw up a priority list of residential streets that have to be done, Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg said.

The agency, called Infrastructure Malta, forms part of government’s ambitious seven-year plan to redo all roads with an investment of €700 million.

Opening the Second Reading debate in Parliament on the law that will set up the agency, Borg said the responsibility of road building and maintenance will be transferred from the councils to the agency without them losing any funds.

“Councils have for years complained that they lack the funds to do roads in their localities,” Borg said, adding the new arrangement will leave them with extra funds to spend on other projects in their locality, while relieving them of the roads burden.

Infrastructure Malta will be responsible for the construction and maintenance of all arterial, residential and rural roads.

Borg said that in the first days of its operation the agency will take over responsibility for roads from Transport Malta and then start discussing with councils a priority list.

He said all mayors welcomed the government’s direction on road works. “The opposition of some PN MPs to our plan does not tally with the positive feedback we received from PN mayors and minority leaders,” Borg said.

He noted the centralisation of road works would enable the agency “to do more, with less, and in good time”.

The new agency will ensure that the implementation function of Transport Malta – which has until now been responsible for road building – is hived off. In this way, TM will act as a regulator by setting standards.

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