Fabian Demicoli

Mellieha: A traffic management muddle

The new traffic arrangements being proposed for Mellieha have been the cause for serious discussion for the Mellieha Local Council for years. The new public bussing system has now brought the issue to the top of the agenda.

 

The issue concerns the general public residing in Mellieha who seek a better service and circulatory flow of traffic that ensures that the main shopping area in Borg Olivier street is adequately reachable through the bussing service and also by private cars and that Mellieha continues to function as an important retail and entertainment location for the large number of people, Maltese an tourists who visit Mellieha or pass through Mellieha.

The real issue however is the narrow stretch of street from the Labour Party club on top of the hill to the nationalist party club at the bottom of the hill. Shop owners in the area are complaining heavily that not enough information has been made available and the plans on which the local council and Malta Transport have been working on have not been sufficiently explained. GRTU representatives in discussions with the Mayor and the Local Council have made it clear that while supporting all initiatives to give Mellieha a better circulatory traffic management scheme they are against any scheme that would effect the earnings of the business community which has heavily invested in the main thoroughfare of Mellieha.

"Shop owners calculations are very simple, they take their Z readings and know precisely what is their income and profitability per day. They can very quickly tell the mayor and the Council whether any scheme has brought better returns or worse. Many shop owners believe that what is currently being proposed would lead to a lower Z reading. The questions is very simple.  If the earnings fall as a result of the change who will be compensating shop owners for the loss of earnings? It is easy for salary earners to propose and implement because at the end of the month their income is the same. For shop owners if consumers are scared away and income falls their take-home pay is simply reduced and for them hardly anything else matters." stated GRTU president Paul Abela.

Paul Ablea on behalf of GRTU demanded a clear economic impact assessment and a clear responsibility to compensate shop owners if whatever is implemented turns out as a loss of business.

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