The Malta Independent 21 February 2019, Thursday

Solution for Gozo is to improve connectivity, but not by means of a tunnel - PD

Sunday, 10 February 2019, 10:29 Last update: about 10 days ago

The solution to give life to Gozo’s economy lies in radically improving the connectivity between the two islands, but not by means of a permanent link, Partit Demokratiku said.

PD said its vision is very different from the government’s “tunnel vision” by which they are presenting the permanent link as the solution to all of Gozo’s problems.

“Any transport system for Malta has to address our land policy, which has its limitations because of Malta’s size, and for it to be customer friendly, travel reliability, travel time and affordability have to be guaranteed,” stated MEP candidate Camilla Appelgren.

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A tunnel would improve connectivity but has so many downsides that in PD’s opinion it will sign the death knell of Gozo as we know it, not to mention the severe environmental impact both during execution as well as in operation.

A fast ferry passenger service connecting Mgarr Gozo, St Paul’s Bay, Sliema, Valletta and Kalkara with dedicated connections via an ACES service (automated, connected, electrical, chaired) towards Bugibba, St Julian’s and Smart City is the realistic solution. This will reduce travel time, compared the to present, by at least 50% by reducing road travel. This demands an overhaul of the Gozo Channel service to render it more responsive to market needs.

“Increasing the ferry fleet, scheduling strategic coastline stops, linking it to a Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) and providing a consumers’ based commodity service will surely pave the way forward,” stated MEP candidate Martin Cauchi Inglott.

PD said it is for a level playing field of opportunities for Gozitans and Maltese alike.  We have to invigorate the Gozitan economy by safeguarding and enhancing the many positives that Gozo possesses.

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