Over a dozen organisations have said that the government’s support for the building of the Malta-Gozo at this stage, shows a ‘blind commitment’
The 13 organisations which include Moviment Graffitti and Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar, state that it is too early to be pledging commitment to the project without the relevant and independent feasibility studies having been carried out or published.
They state that this is ‘not only counterproductive but also irresponsible, since the benefits and impacts of the tunnel are not yet known.’
In this regard, they highlight that is not known whether the tunnel will actually reduce the journey time between the two islands and accommodate the expected daily traffic of 9,000 cars.
Similarly to the Interdiocesean Environment Commission’s report earlier in the year, Moviment Graffitti and its fellow NGOs also believe that these studies on the tunnel must also include a weighing up of the different travel options.
They conclude by saying that there is a need for an informed debate on the mobility options and challenges.
The organisations involved are:
Din l-Art Ħelwa, Ramblers’ Association of Malta, Nature Trust (Malta), BirdLife Malta, Friends of the Earth Malta, Moviment Graffitti, The Archaeological Society Malta, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar, Kamra tal-Periti, Futur Ambjent Wieħed, Isles of the Left, Bicycle Advocacy Group and Żminijietna – Voice of the Left
Transport Minister meets French tunnel experts
While over a dozen NGOs are calling for better studies on the Malta-Gozo tunnel, the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg, was in Paris discussing tunnels and infrastructure projects.
Meeting with the French National Federation for Public Works and with the French International Entrepreneur Federation, the Minister met with a number of French contractor and engineering companies to discuss Maltese infrastructure projects including the proposed Malta-Gozo tunnel.
Borg also participated in discussions with the Société du Grand Paris where he met with tunnel experts and visited the EGIS tunnel construction site
Reflecting on the visit, the Minister said, ‘I believe that discussions are strong and the positive relations we have with our European colleagues are important. Listening to and learning from others and sharing your best practices with them is one of the best aspects of being part of an international team of countries. Here we had the opportunity to discuss several important elements related to our plans in the infrastructure and transport sectors and I look forward to more collaboration.’