A bridge will not fix all the problems that Gozo already faces

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A bridge will not fix all the problems that Gozo already facesReaders Letter – “With regard to the idea of a bridge linking the islands Din l-Art Helwa’s main concern seems to be the visual impact it would have on the surrounding islands. Actually if they check around the world they will find that such a bridge can actually add to the beauty of its surroundings.

What they should be more concerned about is the fact that if the bridge is built it will destroy forever the uniqueness of Gozo. Yes it will be a benefit to the Gozitan people on a daily basis, but the island will no longer be the quiet peaceful place to holiday that it is at present, so they will lose out on the tourist trade.

Gozo will simply become an outer suburb of Malta. What about all the Maltese who have holiday homes in Gozo? How many of them will still want to weekend there if it’s just part of the main island? They go there now to get away from the faster pace of life on the main island.

The Gozo Business Chamber are of course not in the least bit interested in the ordinary Joe in the street and how these things will affect them. All they are interested in is extra profits from wherever they can get them. Now ordinarily that is not a bad thing, but when the cost of those extra profits is the destruction forever of the way of life of a people then I think it is wrong.

As for their idea that a permanent link will encourage people who have left Gozo to return, this is just stupid. Gozo is no different in this regard to everywhere else in the world. People I grew up with are now living in New Zealand, Australia, America, France, Norway, Egypt, Spain and have no intention of ever returning home.

As they grew up they just couldn’t wait to go somewhere else, it’s in our nature. I know people from Gozo who hate the place because they grew up there and don’t see it the same way I do as a tourist.

Will the Chinese company find that a bridge is feasible? Of course they will. They are hardly going to spend €4 million of their own money and then say it can’t be done are they?

Will a bridge or a tunnel be built? I doubt it as it all comes down to money and the cost would be too high.

Will an air link solve the problem? Of course not. It would be of no use to the ordinary Gozitan except on a very rare occasion and has already been shown in numerous studies to be financially unsustainable. All it would achieve is more of Gozo concreted over and would become a playground for owners of light aircraft spoiling forever the quiet peaceful nature of the island.

Studies are cheap, or in the case of the bridge study, free – and I think we can take it as read that the Government are honouring their pre-election promises to look into the ideas. However, I think they need to be looking at the real issues that affect the everyday lives of the people, the roads, the health service, cost of energy, wages, unemployment, the flooding that occurs every time it rains heavily etc. These are the issues that will have the greatest effect on people’s lives rather than pie in the sky dreams.”

James A. Tyrrell,

N. Ireland

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    25 Responses

    1. Anthoney says:

      Mr Tyrrell I certainly agree with your article but especially on this one

      The island will no longer be the quiet peaceful place to holiday that it is at present, so they will lose out on the tourist trade.

      People just think before you decide

    2. Eliza says:

      And lets not forget that the government should focus on the car and bus fumes that people are breathing in and seriously discuss the topic. How bad is it that a lady from Gozo has to clean the inside of her house all the time because the exhaust from cars and buses enter her house. Alot of people on the island are not aware of how dangerous car fumes are and some seem to think its funny when they let out their exhaust.

    3. Charlie says:

      Every comment that has been made regarding this issue should be taken very serious as the impact on our Island will be devastated

    4. Rev George Mercieca says:

      Dear James, an air link will solve the problem of the monday’s rush of Gozitans to Malta if we had a jumbo jet at our disposal.
      Rev. Geoege Mercieca
      Voctoria.

      • Sabine Ferguson says:

        How much brain power was put into that thought… or is it intended as ironic or something?

    5. Tony says:

      A permanent link is certainly beneficial to those who cross daily. However the mentality has to change where most want to return ‘home’ every evening. Would’nt a ‘village’ purposely for Gozitans in Malta be more sensible? It should be bourne in mind that a permanent link will not only serve workers, it will mean the destruction of most business outlets in Gozo, and an evening exodus of all yougsters to visit their favourite spots in Malta. It will reduce Gozo to a desolate place and also the end of its rich cultural activities of the parishes, band clubs, football clubs and practically be just like any backyard town or village in Malta.

    6. Peter Barbara says:

      Whoever is thinking that a tunnel or a bridge will make for faster crossing is missing the wood for the trees. When one arrives in Malta, one will still face roads full of congested traffic. The bridge will be just another road to be clogged up by car traffic. Eventually Gozo will end up worse than Malta owing to its smaller size. Hopefully this idea will never materialize, and if it does, most of the present population will not be able to partake of this disaster, anyway…

      • Sabine Ferguson says:

        Absolutely right Peter! Could we know just exactly how much time would REALLY be saved with a form of crossing other than ferry boat??? It would not be hours but minutes. At the cost of billions and of destruction of marine fauna and Gozitan lifestyle.
        To gain 15 to 2O minutes. GET REAL!!!

    7. John says:

      I think the link would be great for our economy
      i run a business in Gozo and things are not looking
      good at the moment it s great opportunity for our kids future.
      I think the people who are commenting are just thinking of
      themselves and not the Gozitan people.

      • James A. Tyrrell says:

        Wrong John. I’m commenting as a tourist. I come to Gozo for the same reason Maltese people come there at weekends, because it is quiet. Once a link is built, which by the way I can’t see happening anyway, the island will no longer be the quiet place it is now and any reason for tourists to go there will be lost. What about all the Maltese who own second homes there, do you think they will keep those homes? I don’t see why they would as Gozo would just be another part of Malta. They would probably sell up and buy a holiday home in France or Spain or Italy. What effect would that have on your business?

      • Charlie says:

        John I think its you that is thinking of yourself don’t destruct Our Beautiful Island to Line your pocket

    8. Pam B says:

      As a tourist who has been coming to Gozo for nearly 20 years, I agree with James! Why on earth would you want this road link to happen? Gozitans may not realise it but they are privileged to live on this beautiful and unique little island – open it up with a link road and it will no longer have this uniqueness and the island will die. By the time the novelty of the link road has worn off, it will be too late to bring back the tourists who will have long deserted the island as it becomes just an extension of the much polluted overcrowded Malta!

      • Eliza says:

        You are 100% right Pam

      • Rev George Mercieca says:

        James and Pam B are more than right, perhaps more tourists come for half a day with no buisiness at all especially if they are guided!
        Rev. George Mercieca
        Victoria

    9. Pam B says:

      Glad you agree – I am due to return again in August and as always am looking forward to sharing your island for a few weeks. I have already seen many changes in the last 20 years that I have been visiting and I might add that not all of them have been positive!

      You may wonder what it is that brings me back time and time again? It is the warmth of the people, the many friends I have made there, the wonderful sunsets and blue seas and the total charm that can only be Gozo – cherish it, don’t be in a hurry to let it slip away!

    10. John says:

      What about all the paople that wake up at 5 in the morning
      to go for work and have to make the same journey back.
      It seems like only tourists and retired people are commenting here
      not gozitan people who have struggled for work and to work.

      • James A. Tyrrell says:

        John this isn’t something that happens only in Gozo. I used to have to get up at 5.30 am to travel to work and I didn’t get back home until about 9 pm. I did nothing but work and sleep so I know what it’s like John. It’s something that happens throughout the world. But can you see the Maltese Government investing a billion Euros or whatever in a bridge or tunnel just so some people can get to work easier? Especially when you consider the harm it would do to Gozo’s tourist trade.

      • Sammy says:

        Your problems and congestion start at Cirkewa to wherever you wanna travel, assuming for work, Valletta, hospitals etc!!! and vice versa. That is where you are getting bottle necked. Does not matter how many tunnels,bridges you build, Your only solution, as many said before me is a fast ferry service to various parts of Malta. Believe me Govt services in Gozo will surely be reduced or terminated. They don`t care how far you travel. It only takes a fender bender to ruin your day, as you don`t have emergency lanes on your highways and mini freeways.

        Gozoroo

      • Sabine Ferguson says:

        Well said Gozoroo!
        As Peter pointed out further above, the problem starts on the other side. I have been many places but rarely have I seen travelling for such ridiculously short distances taking such great length of time!!!! What it takes to get from, say, Luqa to Circewwa is worse than a London-Heathrow car trip on a week-end or Christmas holiday! And within that length of time you could reach a place some 100 kms away in other countries…

    11. Joe says:

      A bridge will only add excessive vehicle traffic which would lead to more congestion within the Port. As well, be sure to know there will be a significant Toll for using the Bridge. Gozitans will have another thing to complain about. Using vessels of considerable speed compared to a Ferry Boat would be better, especially if you had a Bicycle on Malta waiting for your arrival. Consider your Environment.
      Joe Mercieca Sannat, Etobicoke

    12. Jorma Marttala says:

      I have been visiting Gozo from Finland about 20 years, mostly one month year. If the special atmosphere disturbs because of the bridge, I and my family will change our holiday to other; it’s difficult after Gozo, but happens. Now this area is ‘the last paradise’ in the world;)

      • Sammy says:

        I admire your loyalty to my beloved Gozo. Don`t worry a permanent connection between the Maltese Island will never happen. And if it does in our life time try the Pacific island, New Zealand, Australia. They are the only places where you can still have a real tranquil vacation. Cost more to travel but worth every cent of it.

        Gozoroo

    13. Alfred Grech says:

      What we need is a catamaran service – Valletta-Bugibba-Gozo and those who want to reach the island or travel to Malta fast they can use that service. It is also much cheaper then the bridge or tunnel.

    14. Vic Grech says:

      You are not unique with your traffic problems. Does anyone think a bridge or tunnel will solve the problem? People in many places still take ages to get to work and back home. With good roads mind you!

    15. Leesa Rogers says:

      Please don’t build a bridge & ruin your beautiful Island, if you disagree please visit some of the more inhabited places in the EU, like London, which used to be beautiful too, and you will want to go home and batten down the hatches not build a bridge, please think before its too late!

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