The Malta Independent 25 February 2020, Tuesday

FAA condemns plans for Victoria to Marsalforn road widening works

Tuesday, 21 January 2020, 14:59 Last update: about 2 months ago

Environment and heritage NGO Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar has condemned Infrastructure Malta’s plans to widen the road from Victoria, Gozo to Marsalforn.

In a statement yesterday, FAA welcomed the introduction of Malta’s first electric bus, a zero emissions vehicle which is undergoing trials to assess its efficiency and suitability to Maltese route conditions. “While this is a major step in the right direction, FAA requests Malta Public Transport to look into the option of smaller busses which would be more suited to narrow village streets and run more frequently, reducing waiting times. Seeing over 40 people queuing at bus stops in January, when tourist numbers are at their lowest, does not encourage the public to use public transport.”

“While efforts are being made to improve public transport, FAA condemns the fact that the Infrastructure Malta is proceeding with its plans to widen the road leading from Victoria, Gozo, to Marsalforn. Part of the TEN-T project that has destroyed so much agricultural land at Attard, the Gozo project is set to take up more agricultural land and uproot 180 trees, 54 of them protected species. These trees that add such beauty and welcome shade on this road are described as a ‘safety hazard’ in the Project Description Statement,” FAA said.

“The same report admits that ‘In general, traffic congestion is not present in either traffic flow direction along the link, except for occasional congestion occurring in the initial segment of the street. ... The roundabout arm of Triq Kapuccini has a narrow carriage width which causes an occasional bottleneck,..’”

Astrid Vella, FAA Coordinator adds “This makes it amply clear that this road widening exercise is not justified, and will destroy the rural character of one of Gozo’s most beautiful valleys, leading from Marsalforn to the Cittadella. We call on the new government to come up with creative solutions to provide bus bays and improve safety without sacrificing yet more countryside and trees to slice a motorway through this iconic valley”.

 

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