Greens say Malta's transport strategy is favouring cars over people

AD Secretary General Ralph Cassar said that councillors with proposals aimed at limiting cars and increasing pedestrian areas were up against Transport Malta who 'shot down' ideas that aimed to limit car spaces

Alternattiva Demokratika said that traffic congestion is the result of our acute dependence on cars and that this dependence should be addressed without delay
Alternattiva Demokratika said that traffic congestion is the result of our acute dependence on cars and that this dependence should be addressed without delay

Alternattiva Demokratika said that the government's policy on transport and mobility is contributing to further congestion and pollution. To this end, AD said, "the government's transport strategy is favouring cars over people."

"Councillors and councils who work and propose measures to make residential roads more people-friendly are not finding the cooperation of Transport Malta, which shoots down measures which reduce the space for cars," AD Chairman, Carmel Cacopardo said.

AD addressed a press conference in Attard on Tuesday. The green party criticised the government's plan to build new arterial roads which "will split the village in two."

"It will push public transport further away from residents and attract more and more cars and pollution to Attard. The road, known as Central Link, will not offer adequate facilities for bicycles and will destroy good agricultural land. It will exacerbate congestion rather than solve it," Cacopardo said.

AD Secretary General and local councillor in Attard, Ralph Cassar, spoke about the need for towns and villages in Malta and Gozo to be
connected with segregated and safe paths, especially along arterial roads, to make the journeys of those using bicycles and electric
bicycles safe.

"Every bike that is used to commute means one less car on the road. A report stating that with the construction of new arterial roads, we will save 12 minutes of travel time week is a big fat joke. A serious report on traffic congestion published by the University of Malta’s Institute for Climate Change and Sustainable Development determined that traffic congestion was taking up 52 hours per year, or 60 minutes per week, much more than that announced by the Minister for Transport last week,” Cassar said.

He lamented an "acute dependence on cars" and said that this was a pressing issue that should be dealt without delay.

Cassar proposed a Bus Rapid Transit system, linking main localities with reserved lanes for buses. He also proposed low emmissions zones and congestion charges in the most polluted areas.

"Councils should be encouraged and helped to restrict cars from residential streets and to increase pedestrian zones. Unfortunately
councillors are up against Transport Malta. Transport Malta's aim seems to be to cram as many cars as possible in public spaces at the expense of people and residents," he said.

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