PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects European Mobility Week begins – several permanent projects and various activities announced for many localities in Malta and Gozo

Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg officially opened the European Mobility Week for this year, themed ‘Safe Walking and Cycling � Walk with Us!’, taking place from today 16th of September until Sunday 22nd of September. Also present for this press conference was Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government and Communities Silvio Parnis, together with several mayors and representatives from local councils that will participate with measures towards sustainable mobility.

At the top of our agenda we have a shift in the culture of how we move from one place to another, a change we have been working towards for a long time, and which we are striving hard towards, because we truly believe in it. We want to consider our challenges with a holistic vision, and we want sustainable solutions in every sector, including our mobility choices. The week ahead of us is dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of sustainable mobility, but our work towards this goal must continue from January to December, and this is how we are working, said Minister Ian Borg.

Minister Borg said that this year, the theme focuses on cycling and walking, and that this was also reflected in both temporary and permanent project proposals for the competitions organised by Transport Malta.

He said that, among initiatives throughout this week, we will witness car-free areas and car-free days, walks, pedometer challenges, cycling lessons and activities raising awareness about mobility choices.

At the same time, National Car Free Day will be organised on the 22nd of September, which this year will be hosted in part of St Joseph High Street in Hamrun and in Hompesch Road in Fgura.

The minister also reminded those present of the Social Biking Challenge being held around EU member states, which is being coordinated by Transport Malta in Malta.

During this morning’s activity, the minister was pleased to announce the winners of the ‘permanent measures’ competition. First place was awarded to the Zabbar Local Council which, through a Euros 50,000 grant, will implement a pedestrianisation project in the primary school area during school opening and closing hours.

Second place was awarded to the Zebbug Council, in which Euros 30,000 will be invested in a pedal-assisted tricycle for waste collection in Urban Conservation Areas.

The same amount of Euros 30,000 will go to the third-place winner, the Hamrun Council, which will implement a pedestrian area and a playing area for children, together with research towards more pedestrianisation.

He reminded those present of last year’s theme, Mix and Match, promoting the concept of multimodality which the government seeks to promote as well. As a result of last year’s competition, today the PietA� community has a free and on-demand transport service, in which an electric van transports people to and from their place of work, while Gharb youths will benefit from electric mopeds towards more sustainable transport choices.

Several projects and initiatives that have already been implemented in the past years together with those that will be implemented this year show that we are working together towards one goal � central government and local government. The government continues to work towards several initiatives that prioritise alternative mobility, while implementing projects that consider even infrastructural investments that include facilities for alternative means, such as bridges, cycle lanes and pavements. We have seen Tac-Cawsli, Tal-Balal, Vjal ix-Xarolla, we have the Marsa Junction, Central Link and Buqana � all projects where we made sure to think about these means because the space we had allowed for it. Our commitment towards this aim is clear even in the initiatives we are taking in the transport sector, a sector witnessing several consultations and reforms towards more sustainability and better standards, a sector with important initiatives that encourage people to buy sustainable means and to use public transport. We are determined to continue improving quality of life in our country, and to continue working and striving towards a more sustainable transport culture, concluded Minister Ian Borg.

Minister Borg concluded by thanking all local councils and organisations that, together with the government, are thinking of ideas that can continue promoting sustainable mobility.

Source: Government of Malta