The Malta Independent 7 June 2023, Wednesday
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Updated: Concerns raised over reduction in car lanes in south-bound Ghadira road

Friday, 14 April 2023, 17:37 Last update: about 3 months ago

The PN, the Gozo Tourism Association (GTA) and the Gozo Business Chamber have both issued press statements denouncing the reduction in car lanes in the south-bound Ghadira road leading to the centre of Malta.

Adrian Delia, spokesperson for transport, Alex Borg, spokesperson for Gozo, and Mario de Marco, spokesperson for tourism, signed the PN press statement that stated that “the reduction in car lanes does not benefit people but rather creates more difficulties for the hundreds of workers who commute to Malta.”

“It also increases the already heavy traffic on Maltese roads,” the statement read.

“Although one must welcome infrastructure improvements, the PN believes that infrastructure projects must be planned in advance to be effective,” the PN said.

“In light of this, the PN takes into consideration the thoughts of the Gozitan and Maltese people and asks what would happen if something were to happen to obstruct the flow of traffic.”

“It also asks whether a wide enough consultation was conducted before the implementation of this project,” the PN said.

“Therefore, the PN insists that when changes of this kind are to be made, they should be done with a proper plan and the necessary consultation,” the statement concluded.

On their part, the Gozo Tourism Assocation said that “Gozo as a touristic island destination depends on constant, reliable and unhindered connectivity, in order to sustain this important pillar for its economy” and therefore “cannot understand why the only South-bound road in Ghadira, connecting Cirkewwa with the rest of the mainland, is being constructed with one traffic lane.”

“Connectivity to the port of Cirkewwa is already being hampered with another North-bound one-lane road, creating traffic chaos in order to access the ferry terminal each time Gozo experiences a busy weekend,” the GTA said. 

The GTA asks “why the same mistake is being repeated on the new Ghadira road” and “whether the planners have learned from the aforementioned mistake.”

The GTA calls on “all the authorities involved to seriously consider the traffic implications this single lane road will cause.”

“The authorities need to take into account, not only the commuting needs of all the Gozitans,  especially the employees, but also to bear in mind the timely transfers of the foreign tourists to the Malta International Airport,” the GTA said.

“The GTA hopes that common sense will prevail in the end and the infrastructure is developed in a way to improve connectivity to and from Gozo rather than creating another constraint.”

The Gozo Business Chamber also expressed its concern with respect to the new road development at Għadira Bay. The fact that the South bound road from Ċirkewwa in Għadira is being reduced to one lane already is showing that significant traffic congestions will be created when heavy traffic is coming from Ċirkewwa on busy days.

This is happening apart from the one lane road leading to the port of Ċirkewwa which makes effective queing and accessibility to this port on busy days almost impossible. This including the security risks which have already been experienced.

Given the situation, accessibility and road works from Ċirkewwa to Għadira should be revisited keeping in mind that in excess of two million cars pass throughout these thoroughfares yearly for the ferry alone. No consultation with interested parties was undertaken, the chamber said.

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