Win-Win solution at Kappara with permit approval – FAA
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Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar (FAA) in a statement today said that it welcomes the permit issued this week for the improved plans for the flyover at Kappara. “FAA appreciates the efforts made by Transport Malta to amend its plans following the interventions of FAA, NatureTrust and Kappara residents objecting strongly to the destruction of a large number of trees in the Wied Ghollieqa valley and the unnecessary traffic deviations which would have greatly increased air pollution in the area.”
FAA pointed out that the changes implemented by Transport Malta safeguard the natural environment as much as possible and accommodate the needs of all residents by re-routing traffic, lowering the flyover and adding sound barriers aimed at mitigating the effect of traffic noise on Kappara residents.
“These changes show that when active public participation is met with commitment and goodwill on the part of public authorities, solutions can be found which respect the natural environment, social needs and infrastructural requirements.”
“In compensation for the unavoidable destruction of a number of trees, Transport Malta has undertaken to carry out badly-needed works at Wied Ghollieqa,” FAA said. “This contrasts sharply with MEPA’s tree management: in spite of pre-electoral Government promises that the protection of trees is a priority, MEPA has blocked the services of its tree expert who has been transferred to another department not related to trees in any way. A clear reflection of the lack of importance MEPA gives to trees.”
FAA stated that “while the proposed works are aimed at improving the daily traffic jams at this junction, it will unfortunately not do much to improve Malta’s overall traffic problem which will only be solved by a radical reduction in the number of cars on the road.
“Instead, statistics have just revealed that car sales are still booming while, contrary to Government’s policy to encourage the use of environmentally-friendly cars, Transport Malta has reduced the maximum road tax for high-end cars with emissions over 250g/km, without reducing taxes for cars with lower emissions.”
“The priority is now to organise and improve public transport and make it more user-friendly. This will reduce the use of private cars, hence reducing air pollution and wasted man-hours.” FAA concluded, “the case of the Kappara flyover shows that when civil society and the authorities work together much can be achieved. This needs to spread to all government sectors.”