With the Tal-Balal road project finally completed, Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg has reiterated his commitment to not only alleviate traffic, but to also ensure that security and safety are finally addressed on Malta’s road network.
The project itself is four kilometres long and address the traffic issues that plague that particular four-junction road. The area sees around 3,000 people pass every hour, with the road connecting key localities like Naxxar, Mosta, San Ġwann and St Julian’s.
“We are always frustrated by traffic; this will now change, not to mention the emissions drop that will happen because people are not stuck in traffic,” Borg said at a press conference on Triq Tal-Balal this morning.
Like many other road projects, the Tal-Balal development courted controversy notably with issues surrounding land reclamation. However, the Minister claimed that people simply wanted to “speculate their land and not give it up” during the press conference.
On the issue surrounding the cycle lanes, which advocates have said are inadequate, the Minister said that the facilities have improved and were integrated into the system despite spatial challenges.
“If we took more land people would have complained,” he said.
However, Borg insisted that the most significant intervention was in terms of safety and security.
“We have improved road signals, added crash barriers, improved the lighting and added a proper pedestrian walkway,” he said. “There are no NGOs who speak up for pedestrians, so it’s important to protect them.”
Borg closed the press conference by stressing that the project should not be taken in isolation, explaining that it requires several interventions around the country to improve the road network.