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MALTATODAY 7 August 2022

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11 maltatoday | SUNDAY • 7 AUGUST 2022 NEWS LUKE VELLA ADPD, the Green Party, yester- day accused transport minister Aaron Farrugia of promoting a failed transport policy "from the 1960s and 1970s" when prioritis- ing cars over bicycles. Earlier in the week, Farrugia said that government's priori- ty was to make roads safer and more efficient for cars, and not for bicycles. ADPD secretary-general Ralph Cassar said it was "absolutely false" that the construction of more flyovers and road-widen- ing would lead to more mobility efficiency. "Mobility efficiency in 2022 means safer urban roads, with less traffic, more pedestrian- ized areas and roads reserved for public transport and alter- native means such as bikes and pedelecs, bicycle super-high- ways that connect post-second- ary education institutions with the towns and villages surround- ing them, safer roads around schools and a Bus Rapid Transit system along the main roads," Cassar said. Cassar said that Malta should be aiming towards having large car-free areas, with large chunks of space currently dedicated for cars, returned to the public, bikes and public transport. "This is what our quality of life deserves – otherwise we will re- main the country that lacks ap- peal and where everything goes," Cassar said. He said that transport was the main source of greenhouse gas emissions and other dangerous pollutants in Malta, with half the energy consumption currently used for transport. Cassar said this was a result of successive governments whose policy was focused on the use of private vehicles, despite the short travel distances in Malta. "As in many other cases, the government's rhetoric on cli- mate emergency does not trans- late into action. In the transport sector government is actually working against the climate, against the environment and against the real citizen's inter- ests," Cassar concluded. ADPD Chairperson Carmel Cacopardo said that the fact that according to the National Mas- ter Plan 2025, half of all car trips in Malta were of less than 15 minutes, should make it easier to encourage alternative means of transport. "The roads belong to all and should be designed to give due space to those who at the mo- ment are barred from our dan- gerous roads," Cacopardo said. He said that the government was ignoring the masterplan rec- ommendations, by not creating bus corridors and not allocating more space for public transport on the roads. "The masterplan document states loud and clear: 'data shows that about 50% of trips are under 15 minutes illustrating that mo- bility is produced at a local level on very short paths. This, there- fore, creates the opportunity to increase the modal share for walking and cycling. "It is the action that is lacking due to the massive obstacle put forward by politicians over the years that have failed to lead a policy of change, reforming our transport and roads sector. Pol- iticians that have been promot- ing private car travel and badly designed roads instead of push- ing for alternative and cheaper means of transport." Cacopardo added that these policies were a result of a parlia- mentary system dominated by two parties, saying that a plural- ity of voices in parliament was required to overcome the status quo. SUZANNE MAAS PAGE 12 Greens say Farrugia promoting failed transport policies from the 1960s Transport minister Aaron Farrugia maltatoday | FACEBOOK

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