AGEM suggests “environmentally friendly” metro system for Gozo tunnel
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“The Malta-Gozo tunnel debate has soared well above the national agenda over the past months, with many individuals and organisations giving their reactions to the proposed project,” the Association for Gozitan Employees in Malta said today.
In a statement the AGEM welcomed the “Government’s commitment and will in favour of a permanent link between the two islands,” but expressed its concern on the proposed method, which it said, “relies heavily and exclusively on the use of vehicles.”
“This will lead to the complete exclusion of a ‘mass rapid transit system,’ which in AGEM’s opinion would better suit the needs of the whole country,” it said.
AGEM added that it is also of the opinion that a fast mass transport system, which links Gozo with various strategic points in Malta (University, Valletta, Mater Dei, MCAST) would better address the daily commuting needs of Gozitan workers.
“A metro system would surely eliminate the need for driving and reduce ‘waiting time,’ whilst being more cost-time-effective,” it said.
AGEM went on to say that it believes that a metro system is also more “environmentally friendly” as it will help to ease vehicle emissions in the air, as required by the EU.
“Gozitan employees working in Malta “form one of the largest, if not the largest, group of people, who daily experience the difficulties associated with ongoing travelling between the two islands,” it said.
“The proposed tunnel project will certainly impact heavily on these workers,” said AGEM. “In view of all this, AGEM feels that we need to be more involved in discussions and decision-making processes regarding this project to be ensure that the needs of Gozitan workers are discussed and promoted at all system levels.”
As an Association representing Gozitan employees working in Malta, AGEM said that it would also like to contribute and forward its initial thoughts on this project, “which is designed to improve accessibility between the two islands to reduce daily commuting difficulties to different cohorts of Gozitan people.”
AGEM suggestions include:
1. Authorities to focus on a more strategic and long-termed plan to ease connectivity problems.
2. Authorities to carry out all the necessary studies, using reliable-non-biased research scientific methods, as soon as possible.
3. Authorities to publish existent and future studies on this project to the general public, so as to enable citizens to form a more informed and evidence-based decision on the matter.
4. Authorities to carefully evaluate all possible connectivity solutions without deciding in favour of a solution at the expense of another.
AGEM concluded by saying that there is the need for “a serious, mature and constructive discussion on the matter to ensure the common good of the whole Gozitan society.”
Photo by Alain Salvary