TM’s Cycling Strategy: a stagnant vision for cycling in Malta

AD call on Transport Malta to consult extensively with cyclists before finalising the Cycling Strategy

Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party (AD) calls on Transport Malta to revise their Cycling Strategy and Action Plan to one which puts the access to mobility of all people before comfortable thoroughfare for cars. In comments and recommendations submitted at the end of January, AD highlight the need for a strategy which acknowledges and appropriately addresses all the obstacles to cycling, the majority of which are a result of poor infrastructure.

Mina Tolu, AD MEP candidate commented, “Unfortunately, in Malta, the benefits of cycling are outweighed by the obstacles that we cyclists face on our roads. The Cycling Strategy does little to address these obstacles and offers a stagnant vision for cycling in Malta. We ask Transport Malta to carry out research on current cycling behaviour in Malta and to base strategic targets and goals on this research. This is necessary to ensure that cycling becomes a safe way to travel in Malta and Gozo.”

James Gabaretta, AD spokesperson on the Urban Environment and local council candidate on Naxxar added, “When it comes to cycling in Malta – cyclists know best, and it is clear that no or few cyclists were consulted in drafting this strategy. Cycling should be looked at from the perspective of different kinds of cyclists, like the commuter, sports, and courier, and also from the different regions in Malta and Gozo. It is important for a revised Cycling Strategy to address the needs of all these groups and offer holistic solutions for safe, comfortable, and convenient cycling on our islands.”

In the consultation process, AD have also stressed the need to ensure that accessibility of all is kept in mind when investing in cycling-specific infrastructure. This includes making sure that any bike racks installed do not restrict access for wheelchair users, people using other mobility aids, or people pushing prams, as well as using road design geared towards traffic calming in urban centres so that people feel safer to walk and cycle in their towns and villages.