77.4% rate the present traf­fic sit­u­a­tion as bad

Malta Independent - - FRONT PAGE - He­lena Grech

A vast ma­jor­ity of re­spon­dents have rated the present traf­fic sit­u­a­tion in Malta to be vary­ing de­grees of neg­a­tive, the Novem­ber edi­tion of the iSur­vey com­mis­sioned by The Malta In­de­pen­dent shows.

Re­spon­dents were asked how they would rate the traf­fic sit­u­a­tion from a scale of one to 10, one be­ing very bad and 10 be­ing very good.

In to­tal: 48.3% awarded the traf­fic sit­u­a­tion a rank­ing of ‘1’, 10.7% gave it a 2, 10.1% chose 3, 8.3% chose 4, 9.4% chose 5, 3.7% chose 6, 2.5% chose 7, 3.4% chose 8, 0.3% chose 9 and 0.8% gave it a rank­ing of 10 – the best pos­si­ble one. When adding up the pro­por­tion of re­spon­dents who ranked the traf­fic sit­u­a­tion to be from a one to a four, it was found that a to­tal of 77.4% rate the present sit­u­a­tion as vary­ing de­grees of neg­a­tive.

The traf­fic sit­u­a­tion has be­come pro­gres­sively worse for many through­out the years. If you are among the un­for­tu­nate ma­jor­ity of Mal­tese that must com­mute through the ev­er­grow­ing grid­locked ar­eas dur­ing peak hours, such as Kap­para, Birkirkara By­pass, TalBalal, Marsa, Paola, Msida and San Ġwann, you are more than likely to agree that the traf­fic

Re­spon­dents were asked how they would rate the traf­fic sit­u­a­tion from a scale of one to 10

sit­u­a­tion in Malta has be­come pro­gres­sively worse. Me­dia re­ports just last month es­ti­mated that there are 38 new cars on the road each day, with lim­ited road ca­pac­ity, it is no won­der that ar­eas are be­com­ing grid­locked.

For the pur­poses of the in­fo­graphic, we have di­vided the seg­ments into five, rather than ten, for clar­ity’s sake. Rank­ings 9 and 10 rep­re­sent ‘ex­tremely bad’, 8 and 7 rep­re­sent ‘bad’, 6 and 5 rep­re­sent ‘un­af­fected’, 3 and 4 rep­re­sent ‘bad’ and 1 and 2 rep­re­sent ‘very bad’.

PL and PN split

When break­ing down the an­swers based on the way peo­ple voted in the 2013 gen­eral elec­tion, it was found that:

Of those who voted PL in the last elec­tion, 35.6% chose the first rank­ing – that is very bad, 7.4% chose 2, 10.4% chose 3, 11.1% chose 4, 14.8% chose 5, 5.7% chose 6, 4% chose 7, 6% chose 8, 0.7% chose 9, 1.7% chose 10.

There­fore, when adding up the pro­por­tion of re­spon­dents who 1 to 4, the rank­ings that il­lus­trate the be­lief that the present traf­fic sit­u­a­tion is neg­a­tive, it was found that 64.8% of PL vot­ers have con­cerns over the sit­u­a­tion to­day.

Out of those who voted PN in the last elec­tion, 63% chose the first rank­ing, 13.8% chose 2, 8.5% chose 3, 6.2% chose 4, 2.3% chose 5, 0.8% chose 6, 2.3% chose 7, 1.5% chose 8 and no re­spon­dents gave the present traf­fic sit­u­a­tion a ‘very good’ rank­ing of 9 or 10.

Over the years the prob­lem of traf­fic has con­sis­tently be­come worse. Gov­ern­ment ef­forts to mit­i­gate the prob­lem in­clude the build­ing of the Kap­para fly­over, that is cur­rently un­der­way, the to­tal re­do­ing of the Coast Road and bring­ing in new part­ners for the public trans­port sys­tem. The think­ing be­hind the first two pro­jects is to in­crease ca­pac­ity in those ar­eas as well cater for the free flow of traf­fic. While the Coast Road project has re­port­edly im­proved the traf­fic sit­u­a­tion for the area in a big way, it has been re­ported that once reach­ing the Pem­broke/Luxol area, bot­tle­necks start to form. It is hoped that once all ma­jor in­fras­truc­tural pro­jects are completed, they will com­ple­ment each other and pro­vide for more free flow­ing traf­fic through­out the is­land.

While peo­ple have ex­pressed con­cern that such pro­jects are not enough, and called for more rad­i­cal so­lu­tions, the will­ing­ness of such so­lu­tions to be car­ried out re­mains to be seen. When there were me­dia re­ports over the pos­si­bil­ity of a con­ges­tion tax be­ing in­tro­duced on Mal­tese roads, it cre­ated public out­cry.

The PN have also come out with their pro­pos­als for traf­fic, with Op­po­si­tion Leader Si­mon Busut­til push­ing for a light­tram sys­tem that would make it at­trac­tive for Mal­tese and Goz­i­tans to leave their cars at home. The Op­po­si­tion came up with a work­ing doc­u­ment for its short­term pro­pos­als, and is ex­pected to re­lease its long-term pro­pos­als in the com­ing months.

Mem­bers of civil so­ci­ety have heav­ily sup­ported the use of bi­cy­cles rather than cars, car pool­ing, in­creased use of fer­ries, gov­ern­ment pro­vi­sion of free school trans­port and avoid­ing us­ing the ve­hi­cle dur­ing peak hours.

As part of this ini­tia­tive, ef­forts have al­ready been made in or­der to be­gin bi­cy­cle shar­ing ser­vice.

When break­ing down the data based on age, no dis­cern­able pat­tern could be iden­ti­fied. Whether you are young or old, changes are your views on traf­fic are sim­i­lar. The big­gest de­ter­min­ing fac­tor, how­ever, is the com­mute taken each morn­ing to work/school.

The Novem­ber 2016 iSur­vey – the sixth of its kind – was com­mis­sioned to Busi­ness Lead­ers Malta on be­half of The Malta In­de­pen­dent. A to­tal of 600 re­spon­dents were used, rep­re­sen­ta­tive of age, gen­der and spread of lo­cal­i­ties. With such a sam­ple size, the mar­gin of er­ror is +/- 4%. More info from the iSur­vey will con­tinue to emerge through­out this week.

The big­gest de­ter­min­ing fac­tor is the com­mute taken each morn­ing to work/school

* No PN vot­ers rated the present traf­fic sit­u­a­tion as be­ing ‘very good’

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