Daddy’s girl goes to school

Malta Independent - - FRONT PAGE - He­lena Grech

A num­ber of chil­dren and par­ents spoke with The Malta In­de­pen­dent about whether they found much traf­fic and how they feel about their heavy back-packs on the first day of school.

It is hard to for­get this time last year, on that in­fa­mous morn­ing, where it ap­peared as though the en­tire coun­try was caught in grid­lock traf­fic. Many jour­nal­ists from this news­room took a whop­ping two hours to get to work, as op­posed to the nor­mal 20-minute jour­ney.

While some par­ents said that traf­fic was rea­son­able yes­ter­day morn­ing, some chil­dren did not see it the same way and said that it was still too much for them.

Ev­ery­one was in agree­ment with re­gard to the weight of the chil­dren’s school bags be­ing too much; how­ever, many noted that the first day is al­ways the worst as they would need to take the most sup­plies, many of which would re­main at school.

Heavy traf­fic jams were re­ported across Malta yes­ter­day morn­ing as the new scholas­tic year started. Over 30,000 stu­dents re­turned to their school benches, to­gether with al­most 6,000 teach­ers and LSAs.

As was ex­pected, school trans­port placed a heavy bur­den on Malta’s road in­fra­struc­ture and sev­eral main roads were grid­locked.

Other ar­eas, how­ever, were sur­pris­ingly free of traf­fic as war­dens were out in full force and did a good job of di­rect­ing ve­hi­cles.

Mo­torists said traf­fic at T’Alla w’Ommu road in Naxxar was at a com­plete stand­still. Traf­fic from Naxxar to­wards San Ġwann was also grid­locked. Heavy traf­fic was also re­ported in Val­ley Road to­wards Msida, and the Birkirkara By­pass.

There was heavy traf­fic in the Qormi val­ley and the sit­u­a­tion was no bet­ter in Lija, di­rec­tion of Mater Dei.

Our re­porters on the ground said that war­dens are so far do­ing a good job of di­rect­ing traf­fic in the Naxxar area.

Some usu­ally busy ar­eas, like Sliema and the Kap­para area, were rel­a­tively free of traf­fic.

On the other hand, traf­fic on Re­gional Road was com­pletely grid­locked. Traf­fic started build­ing up in Paola at around 8.30am but De­cem­ber 13 Road in the di­rec­tion of Val­letta was clear.

Trans­port Min­is­ter Joe Mizzi said last week that the best way to avoid be­ing late to work was to leave ear­lier than usual, plan your route bet­ter and prefer­ably use pub­lic trans­port. Fifty of­fi­cials, from po­lice of­fi­cers to war­dens, have also been placed in strate­gic roads across the coun­try to bet­ter con­trol the traf­fic flow. Mr Mizzi said, how­ever, that mir­a­cles could not be ex­pected.

Pho­to­graph: Jonathan Borg

A traf­fic po­lice­man stopped near a school yes­ter­day to al­low his girl to let him see her on her first day at school

Pho­tos: Jonathan Borg

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