The Malta Independent 15 June 2024, Saturday
View E-Paper

‘Slow Streets’ scheme kicks off with 10 local councils receiving beneficiaries

Tuesday, 10 August 2021, 16:40 Last update: about 4 years ago

The ‘Slow Streets’ scheme was announced on Tuesday, with a total of € 344,085 being distributed to ten local councils around the island.

This was announced by Minister for National Heritage, Arts and Local Government Josè Herrera and Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Project Ian Borg, during a press conference on Tuesday.

The funds for the scheme have been allocated almost a year after the scheme was first launched in June 2020.

By encouraging a move away from the use of private cars as people’s primary mode of transport, as well as adapting the way in which people are able to access their localities, ‘Slow Streets’ is an action plan to facilitate safe and sustainable mobility in Malta’s communities.

Bringing this project into fruition has not been an easy feat and neither will its implementation be as there is a constant debate between those who prioritise convenience and those who prioritise the environmental impacts of their transport choices both within the government and amongst the population, noted Minister Borg.

Thus, in order for this project to be successful a “change to our transport culture and a move towards intermodality is required”, he exclaimed.

In order to determine the applicability of localities for this scheme, urban studies were carried out in over 40 localities, however, till now, ten local councils have made the list: Msida, San Ġiljan, Iklin, Xewkija, Ħal Safi, Ħad Dingli, Gharghur, Naxxar, Fgura and Munxar.

This project will enable the said local councils to administer the grass roots approach for this project themselves, which as the President of the Association of Local Councils Mario Fava stated “is important that such projects, in the heart of the localities, should be carried out by the Local and Regional Councils because they really know the needs that exist in their communities”.

He added: “As an association we welcome such schemes because through them the local and regional authorities are being given the tools and resources to carry out what is really good for the residents and what really improves their quality of life; Cleaner air, safer environment and open spaces.”

On his part, Minister Herrera informed that this financial leg of the project is the first step to enhance accessibility for both residents and visitors in local communities.

Both ministries contended that this scheme is part of the government’s larger effort to move Malta away from congested traffic streetscapes towards a healthier, greener and more creative atmosphere.

  • don't miss