Watch: Residents file judicial protest over Rabat road

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

24 Rabat residents filed a judicial application before the court in the hope that the authorities would take note of their woes. The road in question is Triq Gorg Borg Olivier in Rabat, in which road works have been ongoing for several months.

The judicial protest was filed against Transport Malta, Transport Minister Ian Borg, the Director-General for Transport and Infrastructure, the Police Commissioner, Infrastructure Malta, LESA and Rabat local council a month ago. To date, however, none of these have replied. 

The plaintiffs are either residents of the said street or live on the surrounding streets. In the judicial protest signed by lawyer Charlene Gauci on behalf of the residents, they said that several complaints were filed to the relevant authorities about the use of the road. 

Through their lawyer, the residents argued that the road is not adequate to be used as a two-lane arterial road. Adding that it is not wide enough to have traffic flowing on opposite sides.

The issue of the adequacy of the pavement was also raised. 

“Buses have to pass through the same road in opposite directions, and once two buses are on the road at the same time, they are driven over the pavement,” the judicial protest reads. 

A point on emissions and air pollution was also added by the residents, due to the flow of traffic.

Residents had a meeting with Transport Malta in August 2017. Members of the Road Safety Council allegedly agreed before the residents that the Triq Gorg Borg Olivier would become a one-way street. 

“Despite such declarations were made in front of the residents, these declarations were not verbalised during the meeting, and now the defendants are denying having made such declarations,” the residents argued.

A resident asked Transport Malta why the study had not commenced in October 2017. The authorities informed the resident that the situation was being addressed. 

The residents said that the road works which were carried out on the street did not improve road safety, except for the reconstruction of the pavements. 

According to the residents were not in line with existing regulations, saying that pavements should not be less than 1100mm and 915mm in case of obstacles that should not be higher than 2m.

The average width of the pavement was of 800mm while in certain areas the pavement was only 200mm in width. The residents noted that such width was not adequate wheelchair users. 

Video: Miguela Xuereb

An Infrastructure Malta spokesperson told Newsbook.com.mt, that the reconstruction of a road includes the removal of existing surfaces, the strengthening or changing of the road’s foundations, the improvement of the telecommunications distribution services as well as that of water and electricity.  

The spokesperson added that the agency is collaborating several entities before starting any works.  

According to Infrastructure Malta, in Triq Gorg Borg Olivier, all underground the systems had to be changed and upgraded. A number of trenches had to be dug up, he added. The work on the said road is being carried out in four phases to avoid the complete closure of the road, the spokesperson added. The road is around 1km in length. 

“Residents and shopkeepers on Triq Gorg Borg Olivier inevitably had to face some challenges,” the spokesperson said.  

The spokesperson explained that phase one and two of the project were completed. The third and fourth phase are underway. Once the road is completely rebuild, the road will be surfaced with one last layer of asphalt. If the completion of the road is on schedule, it should be ready by the end of year. 

A resident fumed that they were left living inside a construction site for the past four months. The resident spoke to Newsbook.com.mt on the condition of anonmity. They observed that the trenches that were dug up were quickly covered with the road reopening on Friday. 

“We suspect that the road was only re-opened for a the Mdina Grand Prix and will be closed again next Monday,” the resident added. 

Newsbook.com.mt is informed that residents were left in the dark. 

A shopkeeper in Rabat Malta has told Newsbook.com.mt that he is losing around €300 sales per week because of repairs being made in George Borg Olivier Street.

Video: Facebook – Ian Vassallo