A tunnel “will sign the death knell of Gozo as we know it,” says PD
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The Democratic Party (PD) has accused the Government of having “tunnel vision” in its presentation of a permanent link as the solution to all of Gozo’s problems.
A tunnel would improve connectivity, acknowledged PD in a statement, “but has so many downsides that in our opinion it will sign the death knell of Gozo as we know it, not to mention the severe environmental impact both during execution as well as in operation.”
“The solution lies in radically improving the connectivity between the two islands, but not by means of a permanent link,” the Party said
MEP candidate Camilla Appelgren said that “any transport system for Malta has to address our land policy, which has its limitations because of Malta’s size, and for it to be customer friendly, travel reliability, travel time and affordability have to be guaranteed.”
The Party suggested that the “realistic solution” is a fast ferry passenger service connecting Mgarr Gozo, St Paul’s Bay, Sliema, Valletta and Kalkara with dedicated connections via an ACES service (automated, connected, electrical, chaired) towards Bugibba, St Julian’s and Smart City.
This will reduce travel time, compared to present, by at least 50% by reducing road travel, PD said. “This demands an overhaul of the Gozo Channel service to render it more responsive to market needs.”
MEP candidate Martin Cauchi Inglott stated that, “increasing the ferry fleet, scheduling strategic coastline stops, linking it to a Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) and providing a consumers’ based commodity service will surely pave the way forward.”
PD concluded by saying that it is for “a level playing field of opportunities for Gozitans and Maltese alike. We have to invigorate the Gozitan economy by safeguarding and enhancing the many positives that Gozo possesses.”
Photograph by Alain Salvary