The Malta Independent 13 August 2022, Saturday

Giving roads back to the people - ADPD

Saturday, 6 August 2022, 10:50 Last update: about 7 days ago

Transport Minister Aaron Farrugia’s comments this past week where he tried to ridicule NGO Rota.mt’s proposals towards more sustainable transport belies the Government’s strong lack of vision, political will and awareness of how a modern transport and mobility policy could be adopted in our country, ADPD The Green Party said Saturday.

It was referring to comments made by the minister told The Malta Independent this week that the government's primary aim is for roads to be safe and more efficient for cars. Then if there is space for a bicycle lane, it will be included, the minister said.

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Unfortunately the Minister has failed to notice that the transport policy he is promoting has already failed in Europe in the 60s and the 70s – far from being a ‘modern policy’, the ADPD said.

Chairperson Carmel Cacopardo said that the fact that according to the EU-financed National Master Plan 2025 that the Government commissioned half of all car-trips in Malta have a duration which is less than 15 minutes should make it easier to encourage a change in transport mode and help rather than hinder those who consider using alternative means of transport. The roads belong to all and should be designed to give due space to those who at the moment are barred from our dangerous roads. In fact, one stark example where the Government is ignoring the Masterplan recommendations is the creation of ‘bus corridors’ and more space for public transport on our roads. The masterplan document states loud and clear: “data shows that about 50% of trips are under 15 minutes illustrating that mobility is produced at a local level on very short paths. This therefore creates the opportunity to increase the modal share for walking and cycling.”

“We do not need more reports to state the obvious because we already have all the data we need. It is the action that is lacking due to the massive obstacle put forward by politicians over the years that have failed to lead a policy of change, reforming our transport and roads sector. Politicians that have been promoting private car travel and badly designed roads instead of pushing for alternative and cheaper means of transport.”

“This type of policy is a result of a parliamentary system dominated by two parties. Plurality in political voices in parliament will bring the death knell to this type of obsolete policy that tries to please at all costs by preserving the status quo. No wonder that the parties currently in parliament copy each other’s policies and resist reforming the electoral system,” concluded Cacopardo.

 

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