GRTU on behalf of its members has this week written to MEPA against the project being proposed by the Naxxar Local Council on its view that the Application should be rejected.
GRTU argued that the application is first of all invalid since in the process of application the description contained in the site notice and on the MEPA website does not reflect the proposal. In addition the changing of traffic directions, the pedestrianisation and closure to traffic of a large area and the elimination of numerous parking is described as "embellishment work", which is clearly misleading.
GRTU also argued that it has a planning objection because whereas the development proposed by the Application is intended to reduce traffic flows and air and noise pollution in one area of the Naxxar parish square its effect will be that of doubling air and noise pollution on the other side of the parish church where it is proposed to change a one way road to a two way road by removing parking spaces. The development will not serve to protect the environment or reduce noise and air pollution but simply to relocate the problem somewhere else (in reality to a few meters away). This will in addition lead to lack of parking facilities in the parish square, which will have a ripple effect on other areas of Naxxar since individuals who do not have a private garage will still need to find a spot to park their vehicles. The conversion of a one way road into a two way road will cause a general slow-down of traffic thus resulting in increased air and noise pollution which will adversely affect: (i) residents in the area; (ii) individuals attending mass service at the parish church; and (iii) other people attending the various social clubs abutting on the proposed two-way road.
The Project will have a Deleterious Impact on Business Establishments in the Area to be Pedestrianised. ThIS area is largely dominated by shops and other business establishments which are dependant on traffic flows and the availability of parking spaces for their viability. In addition, one of the business establishments in the area consists of consulting rooms and clinics for medical doctors. This establishment is clearly dependant on traffic flows and parking facilities for the patients.
The pedestrianisation and removal of parking will make accessibility to individuals with limited mobility more difficult. The development will result in the loss of parking spaces and waiting bays designed to assist those with limited mobility and those in wheelchairs.
GRTU has urged MEPA to see through the issue and take the necessary action as in GRTU's view the application will lead to several negative effects which should in no way be encouraged.