The Malta Independent 5 June 2020, Friday

Budget 2020: Free public transport for people over 75 years of age, more investment in roads

Monday, 14 October 2019, 21:21 Last update: about 9 months ago

Calls for sea ferries to increase the connectivity by sea will be launched and will include, amongst others, the areas of Cottonera, Marsaxlokk, Marsascala, St Pauls Bay, St Julian’s and Mellieha.

The free transport scheme for school children, in both primary and secondary schools, including government, church and independent schools, will be extended for another year. As from next year, public transport will also be provided free of charge for the elderly who are 75 years and over, as well as youths.


Gradually, petrol stations will be equipped with charging points and the provision of LPG.

Investigations related to the security of transport of the sea, air and road will be collected under one agency to be called the Transport Safety Investigation Agency. The reports that will be published by this agency will available to the public, not to assign blame, but to recommend methods with which the level of transport security can be improved.


Infrastructure - Safer spaces to entice people to use alternative transport

The Marsa Junction project, consisting of seven flyovers and about three kilometres and a half of bike and pedestrian passageways, will be completed by the end of next year. The tunnels under the Santa Lucija roundabout will also be completed, whilst works on the Central Link Project will also progress.

After approval from the Planning Authority, the projects involving the flyovers in Msida, the Msida Creek Project and the widening of Triq SantAndrija, as well as four new tunnels of the Pembroke - St Julians Connections project will commence.

The government is also working to create safer spaces to entice more people to use alternative and more sustainable transport. In fact, from next year, the first pedestrian bridges, with ramps purposely built to facilitate cyclists, will be built for the first time in Malta. Work on two such ramps, in Blata l-Bajda and Gudja, have already commenced.

Infrastructure Malta will also be working on a ramp of this kind near MCAST, to connect the area of Kordin with the centre of Paola. More cyclist routes will be introduced, including those of the Central Link Project and the Santa Lucija project.

The scheme refunding the cost of VAT on the purchase of bicycles and peddle bicycles will be extended for another year. The scheme which incentivises the purchase of motorbikes, scooters and electric bicycles, to a maximum of €400, is also being extended for another year. Those who install bicycle racks, be it the local councils or private companies, will continue to benefit from the grant that was introduced three years ago.


Car scrapping scheme to vary according to pollution rate of new vehicle

The car scrapping scheme will also be extended but the grant will vary depending on the pollution rate of the new vehicle. For a vehicle that has a low rate of pollution a grant of €1500 will apply. A grant of €200 for those converting their car to work with LPG, rather than petrol, will apply.

Works will also ensue on fixing and maintenance of roads, as well as re-building from scratch new roads in the countryside, to create better access for farmers.

Works will commence on three ferry landing sites, as well as completing the improvement project on the fishermens facilities in the port of Mgarr in Gozo. The construction of the breakwater in Qrejten, in the Marsaxlokk bay, will also ensue.

Six other landing sites will also be modernised, as is being done in Marsamxett, with the first phase of this project having been completed. The second phase will include better-sheltering facilities for those waiting for the ferry.

The exemption from all registration taxes for those who buy electric cars or electric hybrids shall continue. More charging points will also be installed, over and above the 200 points already installed.

As already announced, a preferential night electricity rate for those who buy electric cars is to be introduced to encourage more people to buy this type of vehicle as the country looks to shift away from petrol and diesel cars.

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