CC COVER STORY
Putting a stop to Malta’s traffic congestion The traffic situation in Malta has reached unprecedented levels over recent years, with Transport Minister Joe Mizzi going so far as to say that traffic is costing the Maltese economy €200 million in GDP a year – a figure that will increase to €1.2 billion by 2050, unless current policies are changed. In the wake of the recently announced and European Commission approved National Transport Strategy 2050 and Transport Masterplan 2025, Sarah Micallef speaks to the Transport Minister, Malta Chamber Director General and Malta Business Bureau CEO to find out their take, and what lies ahead for Malta’s congested roads.
Kappara Junction Visual
ransport is an essential part of our daily life,” says Transport Minister Joe Mizzi, maintaining that, apart from commuting to work, the Maltese also generate other trips for recreational and commercial activities. “Today, 20 per cent of households have more than three cars. Malta has one of the highest population densities in the world and the size of the island is comparable to a mediumsized city. In view of this, traffic has been increasing by 2.3 per cent p.a. since 1990. Government has of course recognised this challenge and is doing its best to address it,” Minister Mizzi affirms. It has been reported that traffic is costing the Maltese economy €200 million in GDP a year and this will increase to €1.2 billion by 2050 unless current policies are changed. From a business point of view, Malta Chamber Director General Kevin J. Borg warns that the inefficiency of Malta’s transportation infrastructure and the severe traffic congestion are resulting in lack of productivity and a socio-economic cost which is bound to increase as the problem becomes exponentially larger. “The congestion is taking its toll on the cost-effectiveness of many businesses’ operations,” he maintains. “The Chamber is highly disappointed that 28
the last Budget included very little incentives to address this growing problem, especially after Transport Malta’s recent launch of the National Transport Strategy and
Masterplan, which the Chamber welcomed. The Chamber expected the Budget to contain a plethora of measures that aim to alleviate traffic congestion and enhance the
Marsa Junction Visual
APRIL / MAY 2017
The Official Business magazine of the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise & Industry since 1947.