In a press conference in the pedestrian zone in Bisazza Street, Sliema, on Saturday 15 September Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party said that car-free day should serve as an eye-opener for the need of a sustainable transport policy.
Michael Briguglio, AD chairperson, said: â€œGreen policy prioritises use of public transport and cycling. Private vehicle use has increased at an alarming rate, leading to an increase in road congestion and pollution.
“Pedestrians’ rights are to be safeguarded. As such, more pedestrian zones should be created, especially in commercial areas and in our village and town centres. The accessibility of our roads for the disabled, the elderly and parents of young children needs to be improved. Maximum speed limits in residential areas should be reduced to 30km/h, with a view to keeping all pedestrians safer while giving back the use of such roads to the community.”
Ralph Cassar, AD spokesperson on Energy, Infrastructure and Transport, said: “Alternattiva Demokratika recognises the need for the public transport reform. We recognize certain positive aspects such as the use of modern Euro 5 buses which have lower emissions and also other improvements. However the service is not meeting the demand especially in the morning and when people finish from work. We also observe that certain routes are too long and there are not enough buses to sustain the service efficiently. The suspicion is that the aim of the reform was simply to reduce subsidies.”
“Without studies showing where and how people are travelling in the rush hours there cannot be good planning for new and efficient public transport services. Areas vulnerable to traffic congestion need a better service of mass transport rather than the construction of more roads. It is also time to think about alternative mass transport systems and incentives to use small vehicles such as low cylinder motorcycles and bicycles. There is also the need for infrastructural investment to make our roads more people friendly.”