Fabian Demicoli

Valletta Pedestrianisation: Update

 Following GRTU's article published on the 13th August  entitled "Valletta: Facing Realities" Mr Franco Debono from the Ministry for Information, Transport and Communication sent GRTU a comment.

In its article GRTU said that its members are in agreement with the pedestrainisation areas to further enhance the City Core. GRTU however said that a logical solution must be found for the several problems this will create. GRTU pointed out that this is not an easy project and simply cannot be done without detailed planning involving many enterprises.

Mr Debono felt that our article was unfair and that the Ministry treats consultation with stakeholders as a process not just carried out in words. GRTU still feels that the consultation carried out by the Ministry left much to be desired. GRTU therefore suggested the setting up of a Committee for all stakeholders to find a fair balance. If it were not for the GRTU no enterprise would have been directly  consulted .

The Ministry wanted the new scheme to operate as from the 18th August, however the proposal in hand is still not diligently worked out. GRTU insisted that it is not acceptable to keep this date and recommended that all stakeholders are to continue discussions until a finalised version of the proposal is acceptable and realistic to the Valletta Business Community in general.

The Ministry earlier this week addressed GRTU's above concern by stating that before the implementation of the changes to the Valletta Pedestrian Area this ministry will be communicating all changes in terms of delivery hours and location of all strategic loading bays with all members in the Valletta Business Community through an information leaflet which will be produced over the coming days. These changes will also be publicized in the local press over the coming days.

The Ministry also informed GRTU that the ADT will also be engaging local wardens specifically for the purpose of educating all drivers and stakeholders of these changes over a 15 day period from the date of implementation. 

Regarding the afternoon weekday delivery, the Ministry has so far agreed to Monday only. GRTU however feels that distribution must be allowed on two days minimum. It is still too early to expect all delivery companies, cargo haulers and service providers to organise their logistics and be able to furnish the Valletta Commercial Centre every day up till 9.30 without resorting to at least two days delivery slots.

City centre shop owners also insisted that the logistics of business requirements and the abilities and structures of distributors and providers of perishable goods make it impossible to avoid deliveries to the City Core on a number of afternoons. GRTU therefore proposed Monday and Friday (Monday necessary to replenish after the weekend and store for the rest of the week while Friday is the main delivery day to stock for the weekend ora). For both days a 90 minute slot is required between 14.30 and 16.00.

The Ministry confirmed that the loading bays will be in place before the implementation of the changes. 

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