Skateboarders and BMXers from the south remain without a place to ride after the sudden closing of the Birżebbuġa Skatepark last month.
Concerns over health and safety led to the park’s closure last month with no definite date on when it will be reopened.
The news came as a surprise to the skating community who have been unable to skate since January 25th after they discovered a huge concrete block had been placed at the entrance of the park.
“We went to the skatepark and found a concrete block with a note saying that the skatepark is closed,” skatepark caretaker Lorenz Joyce told Lovin Malta.
According to TVM, the decision to close the skatepark came after concerns were raised about the park structures which came to the fore following an incident in which a young man fell and sustained facial injuries.
“We hadn’t heard about this until we saw it in the press yesterday,” he continued.
“From what I know, we don’t close football grounds if someone got hurt or close down pools if someone drowns. This is just pure nonsense and shifting of blame between these entities.”
The skatepark opened last March and receive the financial backing of the Malta Trust Foundation, the Birżebbuġa Local Council and Aġenzija Żgħażagħ.
However, the health and safety standards of the park have been a topic of great controversy even prior to its opening. In October 2019, the park made headlines after it flooded following a week of rainfall.
In addition to poor planning, the skatepark’s outer fencing has also been a source of complaints and a health hazard to riders.
“They installed the fence to protect people walking on the promenade from being hit by a flying skateboard, but they forgot to take care of those using the skatepark. In some areas, there is only a gap of 38cm between the edge of the ramp and the fence and the fence is built with 1.1/4″ of steel which can stop a bus driving through it, not just for a skateboard.”
“A friend of mine got his front tooth knocked out when he hit his handlebars against the fence.”
As it stands, the Birżebbuġa skating community has not been told when they will get access back to their beloved skatepark.
Lovin Malta reached out to the Birżebbuġa Local Council with questions but has yet to receive a reply.