No plans for traffic congestion tax – Transport Malta
The introduction of a congestion tax is among the suggestions made to Transport Malta as a way to cut down on traffic problems, but so far there are no plans to introduce such a system.
The proposal was made in a 400-page document that a Spanish company, Ineco-Systematic, compiled for Transport Malta.
The document also suggests an investment of €336 million to upgrade the road network within a 10-year timeframe, and the introduction of more bus and cycle lanes.
The document recommends efforts to restrict the use of private cars and offer a better public transport service.
The report also suggests that cars which have been on the road for more than 15 years would need to pay extra to enter congestion zones in peak hours.
Denying a report published in Times of Malta, Transport Malta said that there are no plans to introduce congestion tax or any other form of tax on car movements in Malta.
The report compiled by the Spanish company examines the impact if such measure were to be introduced in the most critically congested zones in Malta, Transport Malta said.
The suggested measure is part of hundreds of other measures in the National Transport Plan 2025, issued for public consultation.
The Plan also clearly indicates that studying the potential of this measure would be a post 2025 measure if considered, and would only kick in after other positive incentives and infrastructure investments have been undertaken.
One of the Transport Plan’s major contribution is to appraise and analyse different policy mix scenarios.
The policy mix includes the numerous measures in different scenarios. Among which, moderate level of road infrastructure, measures to increase the average speed of public transport, measures to improve ferry services, the implementation of the two cycling corridors, the promotion of multiple occupancy, low emission zones in the hub, a fast ferry service between Malta and Gozo and freight ferry daily service between Malta and Gozo. The Master Plan suggests various road infrastructure interventions. It suggests the removal of the bottleneck in Addolorata, the ongoing Kappara Project and December 13 road amongst several others.
When implemented, this policy mix is expected to yield the following results:
Better Average Speeds on the Network. The average speed of a private car during the morning peak hour will increase by 20% while that of Public Transport will increase by 29%
The cost of congestion each year will be reduced by 18%. CO2 Emissions will be reduced by 17% and the cost of pollution will go down by 15%.
Finally, Transport Malta said the government made it very clear that in the current circumstances it has no plans to introduce punitive measures. This was clearly reflected in the budget speech where only positive measures and incentives were given.