The Malta Independent 8 December 2021, Wednesday

Government is 'not tied' to metro station design proposals, Ian Borg says

Kevin Schembri Orland Thursday, 7 October 2021, 12:18 Last update: about 3 months ago

The government is not tied to the metro stations proposals that were put forward by Arup Group, a London-based design, engineering and planning firm that was engaged to commission a study in Malta, Transport Minister Ian Borg has said. 

On Thursday morning it was revealed that the designs for the Pembroke station included a 22-storey tower built on the existing park and ride area close to the Luxol grounds. The local council came out against the idea, describing it as a “non-starter.” 

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The website containing information about the metro says about this particular site: "The new station and the new uses will provide an increased vitality to this area, where all the new spaces between buildings will be planned with a strong sense of urbanity." 

The Malta Independent asked the minister for the reason behind the 22-storey tower.

"The stations and every other proposal included within the ARUP report were issued by ARUP. The report explains the size of each station and the need and use that there might be. The government is not tied and has not expressed itself neither in favour nor against. We want there to be a discussion. If the local councils have their thoughts on what kind of station, building, or open space they want above each station, this is the stage during which everyone can pass on their ideas." 

Asked for his personal opinion, he said he does not feel he should express an opinion as he would be "stifling the discussion. This needs to be a national discussion. Those are Arup's plans and we at no time told them to do one thing or another. We left them completely at liberty to do what they like. They are the best experts in the world. Now the discussion is taking place and then we will decide, whether we make them bigger, or do nothing. Then we would take the decisions when it is the right time."

Video by Miguela Xuereb/Newsbook.

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