18 September 2014

Wardens ordered not to fine motorists going up Attard ‘one-way’ street

 - Sunday, 26 January 2014, 14:00

by Jacob Borg

A local tribunal has ordered traffic wardens to ignore a one-way sign in Attard as it is ‘no longer valid’. The sign’s validity elapsed in July 2012, but wardens continued to hand out fines to motorists who ignored the ‘no access’ sign in Triq il-Linja, next to the residence of the American Ambassador.

The local tribunal, presided over by Justice Commissioner Joe Mifsud, overturned fines issued to two motorists on 16 August 2013 after they protested, potentially opening the floodgates for many more motorists who have already been fined to demand a refund.

Attard local council’s secretary-general Marika Mifsud told the tribunal that on 23 September 2013 the council received an email from Transport Malta warning them that the offending sign has to be removed within two days as “according to our records it is no longer valid”.

The same email warned the council that if it did not comply with the request, Transport Malta would remove the signs at the council’s expense. 

Lo and behold, two days came and went without either the council or Transport Malta taking any action.

The tribunal made it clear that it is not ready to force motorists to pay a fine due to a one-way sign that should not be there in the first place. The sign was still in place as of last Friday.

Attard council told The Malta Independent on Sunday that the road is susceptible to bottlenecks and the one-way system is an effective solution. It said it did not see why fines imposed prior to the tribunal’s ruling should be refunded to motorists but wardens have been informed not to enforce the one-way system.

The council has objected to the cancelling of the one-way system before an effective solution is found with Transport Malta. 


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Joe Martinelli says:
27 January 2014 14:23

I didn't know that traffic signs had a 'Best Before' date and expire when that date is reached!
One thing is clear though, that good reason and logic have long expired.
How long does it take to determine an alternate route and restoring the narrow street back to its former 'One Way' status? Must someone coming out of his home be killed before sanity returns?

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Lionel Cassola says:
27 January 2014 12:36

I agree with Mr. Ramon Casha regarding Triq il-Ħafur and Triq Tumas Chetcuti.
As a resident of Triq Tumas Chectcuti, the lower part of the street is definitely suitable for a one way only, due to the narrowness of (25feet wide), and also to the parking of residents vehicles.
This street should be made a one way ( preferably downwards), as soon as possible, before a serious accident happen due to heavy traffic that patronise this  short cut to and from Rabat and Zebbug.

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Max Santorelli says:
27 January 2014 10:53

Motorists who were fined after the expiration of these signs should inundate the local council for a refund. If the refunds are not forthcoming then I suggest to the Parl Sec for Local govt to deduct the refunds due from the financial allocation of the Attard local council and distributed accordingly.

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Tony Camilleri says:
27 January 2014 12:43

Good suggestion to prevent the hassle to those who were illegally fined, but I would suggest that the money be taken from the salary of those responsible for not taking down the sign. That should teach those who think that they are untouchable and the the taxpayers will pay for their arrogance.

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Richard Zahra says:
26 January 2014 19:08

It used to be a nightmare for people living in Attard to exit Triq il-Linja every morning to go to work. One car coming from the opposite direction causes a bottleneck; let alone a stream of cars. People coming towards Attard from Mriehel Bypass would be better off driving up Mdina Rd, past Mt Carmel and then towards H'Attard via the roundabout opposite the petrol station. It might be slightly longer but is much faster. By opening Triq il-Linja to two-way traffic, the residents of Attard will have to face long jams simply to go past the American embassy residence.

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GL Sammut says:
26 January 2014 17:00

"as it is ‘no longer valid" How and why do Maltese people put up with this? If the sign is no longer valid why hasn't the Local Council taken this sign down instead of luring people into going up the one way and then fine the driver for doing nothing wrong since the sign no more applies? Tony Camilleri is right, sue the Local Council and TM and charge them both with contempt. It is NOT OK to cheat the public anymore. What an arrogant bunch! The Local Council should have that one way sign taken down right away and refund the fine to all the drivers that were cited since the order from TM came down. What a bunch of arrogant nincompoops Attard has for a Local Council..Impeach those responsible.

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Tony Camilleri says:
26 January 2014 15:48

Go to the arrogant local council and claim a refund and tell them that if they don't give you a refund for the illegal ticket that you were issued with you shall sue them and do it. They will then not only have to pay you back with all expenses but also face the music in Court for their inaction and illegal continuing use of the sign when they were ordered to remove it by TM. They should also be made to pay PERSONALLY so that all these non-entities who think that they are God's children and gift to mankind and can do what they like and then the taxpayers pay for their incompetence will come to their senses.

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Ramon Casha says:
26 January 2014 15:30

I don't know who is responsible for traffic planning in Attard but there are many decisions that could have been better. One example is that there are many roads leading from Attard into Triq l-Imdina - they are all one-way, and they are all in the same direction, leading out of Attard. The council's strategy of trying to make it more difficult to pass through Attard is simply concentrating traffic into the few remaining roads leading in the opposite direction, into Attard, causing more bottlenecks and traffic jams.
There are many things that could be done to alleviate the problem. Triq l-Imdina (from Rabat) can be reduced to one lane (currently 2), and the same with the turn near Attard Farm Supplies (currently 3), allowing them to merge into a two-lane stretch. This must be done with physical barriers, not just paint on the road - people ignore that. The metal railing near the antiques shop should be removed to allow cars to remain in two lanes. Right now, traffic turning towards Żebbuġ blocks traffic going towards Valletta. One or two of the one-way roads currently leading out of Attard into Notabile Road should have the direction reversed, to allow traffic in both directions. Triq il-Ħafur and Triq Tumas Chetcuti can both be made one-day roads leading in opposite directions. Remember that traffic jams in one area will invariably lead to traffic problems in others. If the council resolves these bottlenecks, traffic will be alleviated in other areas including Triq il-Linja which is described in this article.

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