NextBike installing bicycle rails without Transport Malta permits
The bicycle rails that have been installed in Sliema and St Julian’s for a bike-sharing commercial enterprise do not have the necessary permits and approval from Transport Malta, TA Communications Coordinator Stanley Agius told The Malta Independent.
Mr Agius also said that TM has requested that NextBike dismantle the installation.
Speaking to The Malta Independent, Alan Camilleri of NextBike, said that the company has been given the necessary permits and approval from the local councils of the area and the planning authority.
Sliema Mayor Anthony Chircop confirmed this. He told The Malta Independent that the local council had given a “no objection order” for the installation of the rails.
Mr Chircop did express concern that the rails have been positioned on a narrow walkway on the promenade near the Sliema Tower. However, he said that positioning was all part of a “finetuning process.”
The mayor added that the construction of these docks on public roads, such as the one found in Rudolph Street, falls under the regulation of TM.
However, Mr Aguis clarified that any installation on public land, be that roads or public spaces such as the Sliema promenade , requires permits from TM to function, and that the power to approve such construction does not extend to the local councils.
The installation of the bike rails has actually taken place before the opening of a concession to provide bicycle sharing and ebike sharing services.
The concession was originally announced last September by Minister for Transport Joe Mizzi. It is not limited to one operator and will provide the bicycle sharing companies with the necessary permits to operate their business successfully and safely, Mr Agius said.
He also said that the concession will also ensure that any operator will extend the service to a majority of localities around the island in order for it to be beneficial to the entire population instead of the few localities which would be commercially profitable.
The concession will also function as a preventative measure since through the application of an operating license TM would be able to ensure that there isn’t an oversaturation of different operators so as to keep streets and public pathways as clear as possible.
The Planning Authority has not replied to questions sent by The Malta Independent.