Trasport: Il-gvern jinjora l-Master Plan tiegħu stess

F’konferenza stampa f’Ħ’Attard fit-triq minn fejn l-gvern irid jagħmel triq arterjali oħra, kelliema ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika saħqu li l-proġett massiċċ li jgħaqqad ma’ dak ta’ Buqna fil-limiti tal-Mosta u jibqa’ sejjer sa l-iMrieħel m’huwa se jsolvi xejn, anzi ser jżid l-użu tal-karozzi billi jħajjar aktar u aktar nies jużaw il-karozza privata u fi ftit snin jerġa joħloq konġestjoni. Kongestjoni li tkun aktar milli għandna illum.

Ic-Chairperson ta’ AD Carmel Cacopardo qal:”Il-kongestjoni tat-traffiku hi l-effett u mhux il-kawża tan-nuqqas ta’ mobilita’ sostenibbli: hi l-effett ta’ negliġenza u traskuraġni fil-politika dwar it-trasport akkumulata tul snin u snin ta’ gvernijiet li jaraw sal-ponta ta’ mnieħirhom. Il-problema reali hi li ħloqna soċjeta’ dipendenti fuq il-karozza privata. Aktar toroq fuq art limitata ma jsolvu xejn għajr li jipposponu l-problema bi ftit li mbagħad ngħadduha lil ta’ warajna b‘dimensjonijiet ferm iktar gravi milli writniha mingħand ta’ qabilna. Din il-politika li miexi biha l-Gvern se tkompli tagħti aktar spazju lill-karozzi u se tinnewtralizza l-miżuri tajbin li ġew introdotti bħas-sussidju għat-trasport pubbliku, l-inċentivar ta’ roti u roti elettrici fost oħrajn u s-sussidji biex jinħolqu faċilitajiet fuq il-post tax-xogħol (bħal showers) għal min juża r-rota biex imur għax-xogħol. Ta’ min wieħed jinnota li sfortunatament l-infieq fuq toroq għall-karozzi huwa bil-wisq akbar minn dak fuq miżuri ta’ mobilita’ sostenibbli.”

James Gabarretta Chairperson ADZ li jagħmel użu regolari mir-rota biex jivvjaġġa tkellem fuq in-nuqqas ta’ facilitajiet fit-toroq ghal transport nadif u alternattiv. “Ma jagħmilx sens li fil-ġirja biex jitwessgħu t-toroq minn juża r-roti u r-roti elettrici kontinwament jingħata l-ġenb. Kull persuna li tiddeciedi li tuża r-rota qed tagħti aktar spazju fit-triq lit-trasport pubbliku u lil min ikollu juża l-karozza, filwaqt li jgħin biex tonqos il-konġestjoni u t-tniggis. Toroq arterjali perikoluzi għandu jkollhom bike-lanes apposta u mhux infrastruttura nofs kedda.”

Ralph Cassar Kunsillier f’Ħ‘Attard u kelliem ta’ AD dwar l-enerġija, infrastruttura u transport qal li il-Gvern u l-aġenziji tieghu, partikolarment Transport Malta u l-aġenzija tat-toroq qed jitilqu mill-premessa li l-bini tat-toroq u li jiżdiedu l-karreġġati hija soluzzjoni. “Dan mhux minnu. Għandna Gvern li qed ikompli bil-mentalita’ ta’ dawk ta’ qablu u ma joffru l-ebda viżjoni ħlief dik populista ta’ aktar toroq u karozzi, viżjoni li ma twassal imkien. Fejn huwa l-pjan ta’ transport sostenibbli imbottat mill-Kummissjoni Ewropea? Imkien. Hemm bżonn low emission zones, hemm bżonn partijiet kbar mit-toroq irriservati esklussivament għat-trasport pubbliku inkluż Bus Rapid Transit System fuq toroq arterjali. Hemm bżonn sistemi integrati ta’ transport fosthom aktar park and ride – xi ħaġa li m’hemmx bżonn xi pjanar fit-tul biex issir. Hemm bżonn cycle lanes sura, mhux nispiccaw b’toroq li jgħaqqdu l-lokalitajiet bi spazju biss għall-karozzi.”

“Taħsbu li dawn huma ideat tagħna biss?”, staqsa Cassar. “Iva dawn huma ftit mill-proposti li ilna nisħqu fuqhom, imma huma wkoll proposti li saru bl-iswed fuq l-abjad fit-Transport Master Plan 2025 ta’ Transport Malta. Transport Malta u l-Gvern qed jippubblikaw rapporti u pjanijiet iżda imbagħad qed jinjorawhom kompletament. Il-Gvern għandu jattwa il-miżuri imsemmijin fil-Master Plan u mhux ikompli jitfa’ ż-żejt fil-bazwa. Minkejja l-ftahir ta’ kemm jaf jieħu deċiżjonijiet f’waqthom żgur li fil-qasam tat-trasport u l-mobilita’ sostenibbli l-Prim Ministru u l-Gvern qed joħorġu ta’ beżżiegħa u bla viżjoni għal kwalita’ ta’ ħajja aħjar.”

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Transport: The government ignores its own Master Plan

During a press conference in Attard at the spot where the government wants to build another arterial road, speakers from Alternattiva Demokratika stressed that the massive project combining with that of Buqana in Mosta , going up to Mriehel will not solve anything. On the contrary, it wil increase traffic, car use, congestion and pollution. In a few years congestion will be much worse than today.

AD Chairperson Carmel Cacopardo said: “Traffic congestion is the effect and not the cause of the lack of sustainable mobility: it is the effect of negligence. Negligence in transport policy accumulated over years and years of governments who had no vision and no idea of longterm planning. The real issue is that we have created a society totally dependent on the private car. Building more roads for cars on limited land will not resolve anything. It will just postpone the problem, which will be passed on to future generations. Only, the problem will be much worse and serious than today. Government’s transport ‘policy’will continue to give more space to the car. It will neutralize government’s own good measures, such as the subsidy for public transport, the incentivizing of bicycles and electric bicycles among others and the grants to create facilities at the workplace (such as showers) for who uses the bike to go to work. It should be noted also, that unfortunately the spending on roads for cars is huge when compared to that on measures to encourage sustainable mobility. “

James Gabarretta ADZ – Green Youth Chairperson who makes regular use of the bicycle to travel spoke about the lack of road facilities for clean and alternative transport. “It does not make sense that in this mad race to widen roads, the needs of commuters who use bicycles and electric bicycles are continuously neglected. Anyone who decides who uses the bicycle is freeing up more road space to public transport and those who have to use their car, while helping to reduce congestion and pollution. Dangerous arterial roads should have dedicated bike lanes and not half baked infrastructure. “

Ralph Cassar, AD local councillor in Attard and the party’s spokesperson on energy, infrastructure and transport said that the Government and its agencies, particularly Transport Malta and the roads agency is basing its so called solutions on the premise that road construction and adding lanes is a solution. “This is simply not true. Government is perpetuating the mentality of its predecessors and offers no vision except the populist vision of more roads and more cars. Where is the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) pushed by the European Commission? Nowhere. We need low Emission zones, there need large parts of roads reserved exclusively for public transportation including a Bus Rapid Transit System on arterial roads. We need integrated systems of transportation including more park and ride – something that does not need any long-term plans to implement. There is a need for proper cycle lanes along arterial roads connecting localities, not more and more space for speeding cars.”

“Do you think these are just our ideas?”, asked Cassar. “Yes these are some of the proposals we have been insisting on, but they are also proposals made black on white in Transport Malta’s 2025 Transport Master Plan. Transport Malta and the Government publish reports and plans but then these are completely ignored. The Government should implement and invest in the measures mentioned in the Master Plan and stop flushing hundreds of millions of Euro down the drain. Despite boasting of knowing how to take timely decisions, it is evidenti that when it comes to transport and sustainability the Prime Minister and the Government prefer short-sighted populism. They are afraid to bell the cat and keep on passing the buck to future generations.”

Examples of Issues the Government is ignoring in its own Transport Master Plan 2025 (published 2016)

Transport Master Plan 2025 http://www.transport.gov.mt/admin/uploads/media-library/files/Transport%20Master%20Plan%20rev%202.0.pdf

(http://www.transport.gov.mt/transport-strategies/strategies-policies-actions/national-transport-strategy-and-master-plan)

p.61 There is no framework for a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan for Malta.

p.72 Reducing the role of the car.

p.82 Low-emission zones – polluting vehicles are kept out of polluted and congested areas.

p.128 Public transport quality corridors – parking along these corridors is not allowed, space on roads for busses.

p.136 Improvement on roads for public transport – routes mentioned including Attard, Birkirkara, Hamrun, Valletta

p.143 Five additional park and ride schemes tied to public transport provision.

p.154 Segregated busways  and light rail on reserved corridors for a Mass Rapid Transport system.

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