Fabian Demicoli

GRTU Transport Lobby Group progresses on Kappara Junction Project Proposals

GRTU’s Transport Lobby Group has been focusing its work on proposals related to the Kappara Junction Project. The Kappara flyover is a necessary national project which is planned to stretch over a 77-week period. For the duration of the project, traffic management will be effected given that this junction is a crucial one for Malta’s infrastructure and connectivity for traffic flows.

The Lobby Group of GRTU represents various major stakeholders in the transport and logistics industry, such as chauffeur-driven cabs, coaches, 
transport for disabled persons, goods distributors, couriers, freight forwarders and cargo hauliers, amongst others. Following the preparation of a 30-strong proposal document which was presented to the Ministry for Transport and to Transport Malta, the Lobby Group has been pushing forward its proposals for the betterment of the traffic management plan during the project.
 
It is inevitable that such major project would have impact on traffic flows, but with GRTU’s expertise from operators in the industry, mitigation of unnecessary stress of traffic on the area and better flows of traffic can be achieved. The Lobby Group has been meeting every week to monitor developments and provide further input to its proposals. Meetings with Ministry and TM officials have continued over the past weeks with GRTU Transport Lobby Group members giving further suggestions and tweaking towards improvements.
 
It is clear that Minister Joe Mizzi is understanding the reasoning behind the proposals put forward by the GRTU Transport  Lobby Group. Recently Minister Mizzi has expressed that road closures because of village feasts and placement of cranes
may not be allowed in cases that would disrupt to already strenuous situation during the peak points of the project.
 
GRTU had in fact insisted that permits for any form of full or partial road closures need to be approved by Transport Malta through a centralized unit which is overseeing impact on the surrounding areas and the traffic management plan when national projects such as this are ongoing. The Minister’s statements reflect this line of thought.
 
GRTU has also proposed a park-and-ride system through alternatives which would alleviate commuters and residents in cases where it is necessary to reduce parking spaces due to the project in order to allow smoother traffic flows. This is due to side-roads or main roads being now switched to main roads or traffic arteries respectively. The Transport Minister has also announced that such considerations are being made and in fact GRTU is indeed informed that contact with site owners has been made as per GRTU’s recommendations.
 
GRTU’s Transport Lobby Group is also advocating a strong communication system to inform the public of road closures and alternative routes. The Lobby Group’s most recent meeting was in fact with Transport Malta’s PR office in order to establish a fast-track communication channel for GRTU members to inform TM of on-the-ground traffic developments and for GRTU to inform its members of any road closures or developments to the traffic management plan.
 
GRTU’s Transport Lobby Group is indeed working actively to find solutions to the exigencies of the project and foresee possible issues that may arise. It shall continue to monitor developments to constructively provide alternatives that would ease off the pressure on the area as it is every business operator’s interest to ensure smoother traffic flows for the project duration.

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