The Malta Independent 8 December 2019, Sunday

The middle road is the best

Sunday, 7 July 2019, 09:11 Last update: about 6 months ago

I congratulate that young engineer to be who had the guts to submit his researched opinions about the Gozo tunnel for publication in your newspaper. However, I beg to differ regarding his conclusions.

The Government and the Opposition are so keen on, and so in favour of, a tunnel carrying cars when there are many more viable options that would cost less and have less impact on the environment.

One example would be the liberalisation of transport between Malta and Gozo. It was so good for Malta when other sectors were liberalised and I think transport is now the only sector with a monopoly. Imagine other companies ferrying people, cars and cargo to Valletta and Marsa, etc.

If money can be found to go to Mars, can it not be found to go to the Moon?
In the next election manifestos, I would like to see a proposal for an underground metro system with a link to Gozo.

 And the argument should not be over whether or not it is economically viable. All public transport works at a loss but there are huge benefits, such as less pollution and more efficient travel.

The middle road is best. Connecting Gozo physically will remove its natural barrier that has – to some extent – protected it from the ravages that Malta’s natural environment has undergone. I wonder why the experts and our saviours who pride themselves on their vision see a bleak future for the little natural environment that is left in Malta and Gozo. They continue developing outwards and upwards and see construction as the motor of the economy, when this sector can be redirected or toned down. They say it is what the people want, but they do not educate the people on the fact that we need the open spaces, we need beautiful skylines and the villages with quaint houses nestling on hills away from the ridges.

The middle road is best: increasing connectivity but not making Gozo a part of Malta. It is more beneficial for the future of Malta if Gozo keeps its character.

Joe Portelli


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