Toni Bezzina, the Nationalist Party’s spokesman for Transport stated that studies which are reaching the Government are suggesting that a capping on the number of cars on the roads should be introduced. This would be similar to what Singapore has where road licenses cost much more than the actual car itself. However the Government’s reaction was quick stating that this is not true and there is no intention whatsoever of capping the number of cars to reduce traffic congestion.
At the moment there are close to 300,000 cars registered for use in the Maltese islands. A recent study by Kearon Bruno published a few days ago stated that this number has to be reduced to 200,000 to ensure sustainability.
However in comments given by the media by the author of this report stated that this was just a Master’s dissertation and even though the report itself is going to be provided to the Government it doesn’t mean this is a policy proposal but is intended only to provide policymakers with an indication of the overall costs associated with capping private vehicle use.
The author of the dissertation, Bruno, in comments to the media, he stated older people or those who rarely use their car would actually be happy to trade in their license for a free pass to use the public transport system instead.
Comments on Social Media by Transport Minister Ian Borg categorically deny that the government is planning to implement any solution related to capping of cars or vehicles on the road, whilst he asks the Nationalist Party to state what it’s strategy would be if they are ever in Government, “Would you start rebuilding ‘single lane’ roads again?” – the Minister asks.
Minister Ian Borg also stated that the Government is studying plans for mass public transit systems, however this might take years to build and in the meantime infrastructural works on major arterial roads are intended to minimise traffic disruption, work on Regional Road and Marsa are progressing as planned. This work has been pending for 25 years under Nationalist governments but now it is being tackled.
Other initiatives such as free public transport for youngsters are also intended to minimise disruptions.