Fabian Demicoli

The C-Liege Project ready to take off in Hal Tarxien


Freight
transport is one of the major issues of discussion in Malta and it employs
hundreds of workers on the island. However, it is also the cause of congestion
and environmental problems, especially when it deploys its activities into city
centres.One
problem is that residents experience high levels of CO2 emissions and another
difficulty is that a lot of roads are damaged due to heavy vehicles passing
through such roads.

A better management of Freight Transport is possible and
the C-Liege project (www.c-liege.eu) strives to achieve this objective. C-Liege
is an IEE project coordinated by FIT Consulting (Italy) that brings together
partners from 11 different EU countries and is partly co-financed by EACI. On
the basis of good practices, the project aims at defining an integrated
framework for energy efficient Urban Freight Transport (UFT) management and
planning.

Malta
is represented in the C-Liege Project through Paragon Europe that is
coordinating the deployment and implementation of UFT measures in the Local
Council of Hal Tarxien.

During
the past 12 months, Paragon Europe together with the support of Chev. Paul
Farrugia, Mayor of Hal Tarxien, has organised three roundtables, where major
Maltese stakeholders (Transport Malta, GRTU, traffic police and other
neighbouring Local Councils) gathered and discussed best practices that would
assist Hal Tarxien to solve some of the problems related to freight traffic in
the city centre. Moreover, a public event was organized on December 19th 2012,
and the citizens were invited to bring their suggestions and ideas to improve
the measures previously identified.

Chev.
Farrugia and the other stakeholders agreed on working on four actions. The
first will be a pilot re-routing of traffic in Id-Dejma road, where freight
traffic will be closed to vehicles heavier than 3.5 tonnes during rush hours
(7-10am and 4-7pm) in order to relieve an already congested road. The second
includes the deployment of extra loading and unloading bays to support shop owners.
The third and the fourth will represent management measures.

A
Freight Quality Partnership will be set up, creating a permanent forum in Hal
Tarxien chaired by a City Logistic Manager and the Mayor to regularly discuss
freight transport issues and come up with concrete policies. The FQP will also
be in charge of creating a Local Freight Development Plan, the last of the four
identified measures, which will contain the mid and long-term measures to be
discussed and implemented.

Chev.
Paul Farrugia has expressed his concern regarding the problems that freight
traffic is creating in his city and committed himself to making Hal Tarxien the
first Maltese Local Council to have such a permanent forum and pointed out the
importance of a freight transport long-term plan during the C-Liege Workshop
held in Newcastle in October 2012. During his speech, Chev. Farrugia declared
that "thanks to C-LIEGE, we will embark on efforts to develop both a societal
and a regulatory framework for sustainable urban logistics. We need to change
mentality. The C-LIEGE project is a boost for my local Council to start
educating our citizens in the values of sustainable mobility."

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