Gozo Business Chamber says govt shouldn’t rethink tunnel project

The Gozo Business Chamber is not aligned with the recommendation by the Malta Chamber of Commerce for government to reconsider the investment for the tunnel between Malta and Gozo. The Gozo Business Chamber issued its reaction for the 2020-2025 Vision Document published on Wednesday by the Malta Chamber.

The Gozo Business Chamber said it welcomes the document and endorses a number of its recommendations however it does not agree with the recommendation for the government to rethink the tunnel investment.

In a press statement, the Gozo Chamber called for more efficient, reliable and cost-effective transportation between Malta and Gozo. The Chamber said that Gozo is falling short from optimising its contribution to the Maltese economy in good part because of connectivity barriers, with the time required to reach centres of major activity is 4 to 5 times longer than those in Malta, and the virtual complete dependence on an ageing vessel fleet.

The Gozo Business Chamber emphasised that the tunnel between the two islands has the potential to provide the most cost-effective connectivity option.

The tunnel project is a compliment, not a competitor, to the implementation of multi-modal transport systems on a national scale.

“It would be expected to serve as the backbone of a network comprising public and shared vehicle transportation, and water and air connectivity. The tunnel project would deliver an effective link between the two islands within a reasonable period in the future, as opposed to often-mooted rail alternatives which would take decades to implement at multiples of the cost” – said the Gozo Chamber.

The Gozo Business Chamber said it looks forward to the delivery of this project with an overall policy framework leading to a distinctive economic model for Gozo.