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Għarb Bans Construction Vehicles For One Week In Bid To Reduce Noise And Air Pollution

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A tiny village in Gozo has just ended a trial run of banning heavy vehicles from its locality for an entire week and are considering doing it again following its success.

As the sounds and sights of construction become commonplace on every corner of the Maltese islands, the Għarb Local Council wanted to pause the use of vehicles that consistently disrupt the lives of residents via noise and air pollution for seven days.

The village, which hosts around just 1,300 people, closed to locality off to heavy vehicles such as construction trucks between the 16th and 22nd September as part of worldwide Mobility Week. It also stopped giving out new construction permits for the week.

Now, they are discussing whether they should continue introducing this idea throughout the year.

Mayor David Apap said the event had a “very favourable impact for a few days – the locality was quieter, more accessible to road users, with less pollution from construction work in the air and noise”.

“It was not easy, but the council was determined to give a breath of relief to residents who face daily problems related to the construction industry,” he continued, saying residents will always be given priority over “everything” and that the council is committed to protecting the health and lives of people first.

A poster put up informing drivers of the change

A poster put up informing drivers of the change

However, not everyone was happy – amongst people opposing the week were people in the construction industry as well as those undergoing construction work on their property who were forced to stop for seven consecutive days.

Anyone caught entering the village with a heavy truck was given a penalty for violating traffic laws, the council said.

“The council considers the initiative to be very good and despite the few complaints the overall response has been very good,” they ended. “The council plans to repeat this initiative by improving on where it has gone wrong or where there may have been more communication and information to the general public.”

Cover photo: Alecastorina93

Do you think other towns should adopt a similar idea?

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Johnathan is interested in the weird, wonderful, and sometimes dark realities late capitalist society forces upon us all. He also likes food and music. Follow him at @supreofficialmt on Instagram, and send him news, food and music stories at [email protected]

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