Transport figures show urgent need for long-term strategy, PN insists

The Nationalist Party said that despite the data covering 2016, it is clear that negative trends had not yet been addressed

The PN said a long-term plan was needed to tackle transport-related issues
The PN said a long-term plan was needed to tackle transport-related issues

Transport statistics published recently by the National Statistics Office showed the need for a long-term plan for the sector, the Nationalist Party said on Tuesday.

The statistics, covering the year 2016 and which were published yesterday, showed that reported traffic accidents had decreased by 3.1% over the previous years, while traffic casualties had increased by 8.2% over the same period.

In a statement, the PN said that while the statistics related to 2016, the negative trends observed then have continued to the present day.

The PN noted that the number of people killed in road accidents had increased from 15 in 2010 to 23 in 2016.

"Notwithstanding the fact that every death is a tragedy, the country is going farther from the stipulated EU targets which hope to halve the number of 2010 fatalities by 2020.”

The latest figures, argued the PN, also show that the number of cars on the roads is increasing to a level that is beyond what such a small country can take, adding that Malta had seen an increase of roughly 1250 cars every month between 2013 and 2016. 

“This shows that the government's target for people to make more use of public transport has not been reached despite the tripling of subsidies to €30 million."

The PN said that despite a reduction in the number of licenses issued between 2014 and 2016, the need for one to use a car had increased. It said that the increase in public transport was clearly the result of more immigrant workers, “who have no option but to use it during their first months in Malta”.

Furthermore the PN said that the need for a long-term plan was evident from emissions data presented in the report.

“Between 2013 and 2016, there was a large increase, with emissions going from 520 to 582 kilotons of CO2; an increase of 12% in just three years,” the PN said. “Eurostat statistics confirm this increase in emissions and show that Malta has the fourth worst air quality in Europe.”

Traffic and transport have become a constant cause of anxiety for the Maltese people, the PN said, as well as a waste of precious time and fuel. The PN called for broad political consensus to address the problem holistically.

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