No plans for traf­fic con­ges­tion tax – Trans­port Malta

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

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.

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