Government marathon will adopt own route despite concerns by previous organisers

Transport Malta and SportMalta insist that they have the go-ahead from health authorities to stand by their proposed route

File photo
File photo

Government will adopt its own route for its charity marathon, despite safety concerns flagged by the original organisers.

The news comes after the Malta Marathon Organising Committee (MMOC) announced on Tuesday that it will be cancelling the 2022 race following a meeting with Transport Malta.

The MMOC had said that the route proposed by Transport Malta was declared unacceptable by Mater Dei’s Emergency Department, the Malta Red Cross, and the Malta Traffic Police.

However, Transport Malta rebutted this during a press conference two days later.

Transport Malta CEO Joseph Bugeja and SportMalta CEO Mark Cutajar said that they have received the go-ahead from Mater Dei, police, and the relevant health authorities on the safety of the route proposed.

A Transport Malta (TM) official added that ambulances will have complete access to runners at all times.

Cutajar explained that TM wanted to avoid having certain strategic arterial roads blocked off from traffic.

These areas included the Central Link and MFSA junction, as well as the Marsa-Ħamrun bypass.

He added that the route proposed by the MMOC would have closed off 15 bus stops from public transport access.

Cutajar continued to explain that SportMalta had liaised with the public health authorities to further ensure that COVID-19 protocols are adhered to.

In fact, the health authorities allowed the marathon to take place with an unlimited number of runners, so long as they are grouped into bubbles of 100 people with a two-minute starting gap between each group.

He also extended a hand to the MMOC to help organise the government charity marathon. “If they really want to come on board with us, then I invite them to help and make this marathon a success.”