Fabian Demicoli

Valletta works, underway

 GRTU Council Member and localities representatuive Michael Galea made an introduction and said that this kind of meeting was going to be held so that they would have a clear idea on what is happening.

 

Presentation by David Sutton

David Sutton started by explaining that Transport Malta is doing everything to provide information about the project. He delivered a presentation and went through all the process which needs to be done for the changes to tae place.

Projects

Upcoming projects involving the new proposed change include: City Gate, Transport, Construction of lift in Barrakka, and extension of Park and Ride. The City Gate project is the main project, which affects all of the people going to Valletta.

The remodelling of City Gate will result in changes in the streets. Narrowing, closure and even more pedestrianised zones are planned. Buses are being moved near the Phoenicia Hotel and the present bus terminus will become a square for the attraction of others. Moreover, this square will be much safer since now everyone walks back and fort between the busses and the chaos. It is estimated that 35,000 trips enter everyday in Valletta and so restrictions are caused when handling Traffic Management.

A good number of months were dedicated for remodelling so that traffic management would be handled easier. Pope Pius V Road will be removed. One option is that the alternative road would become two way.

Loading and Unloading

General access and access for loading and unloading from bus terminus to behind City Gate (for shops under the Arcades situated on the left) will be stopped but another alternative will be planned so that shops very close to City Gate will have a way to load and unload goods. Special requests for residents will be implemented. Appropriate measures are to be taken so that shops near the new city theatre site and the new parliament site will not have a problem to load and unload.

The planned shift strategy states that people entering the Valletta/Floriana junction are using more public transport than their own car. Studies carried out by the MITC state that from 55% of people going in with their car to Valletta the percentage dropped to approximately 47%.

Bus Services

An enormous sum of money is being invested in the new Public Transport Reform. This is because first and foremost we need to diminish pollution. From the 1st till the 16th of May City Gate will be closed for demolishing however access to pedestrians will remain throughout the whole demolition process.

Bus Services will be widened for example routes will be increased in all parts of Malta and people should have their needs better met. For instance bay are going to be used much more frequently/hr.

Issues raised from the floor

One of the major points risen was that attendees asked if the new public transport will get in a larger amount of people. David Sutton said that although traffic & consumers are unpredictable he can say that by an increase in services offered through the new reform people going in Valletta should increase.

An attendee asked if loading and unloading can be postponed to the afternoon because people tend to go and buy in the morning and so it causes a problem to business. This is to be discussed with the GRTU.

Parking

Another attendee highlighted that shop owners are not having parking available. Parking is being taken but not replaced. Chris Paris said that MCP could be one alternative and moreover 1,000 new slots will become available in the same mentioned parking.

Wardens

Attendees also raised the issue that wardens are not well educated and they need to undergo training to handle complex situations like these even while the project is in process.

No problems are being caused for outside City Gate kiosks in respect to deliveries. Deliveries will remain as they have always been.

South Street is being closed on 16th May; the previous police station and the BOV Building are being demolished. The Police Station is going to be situated instead of Palazzo Verde.

Conclusion:

The next two weeks will be more hectic and Transport Malta is hoping to have a smooth change. However if any problems should arise members are to consult with GRTU so that a well structured consultation will be done with Transport Malta and an agreeable end is reached.

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