Attard mayor Stefan Cordina has questioned whether his town’s residents truly approve of the Central Link road upgrade project.
“It has been said that the majority of Attard residents are in favour of the project but where are the numbers coming from?” Cordina told Lovin Malta. “If people are being asked about the project, then how exactly are they being asked? Are they being asked whether they want less traffic or are they being told exactly what the project will entail?”
“For example, have they been told that the Central Link project won’t have an impact on the traffic that enters Attard from Naxxar and Mosta?”
Asked straight out whether he thinks the majority of Attard residents back the project or not, Cordina said it would be presumptuous of him to comment as he doesn’t have statistics in hand.
“Let’s just say that no one asked me or my family what we think of the project,” he said.
When defending the project last weekend, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat argued that residents of Attard and Balzan have long been complaining of people driving through their village cores to try and avoid traffic on the main roads.
“I don’t expect thank yous but we’ll keep doing our job,” Muscat said.
Although the project was approved by the Planning Authority, Cordina, on behalf of the Attard local council, voted against the project. The council took its stance following an internal vote, in which the vast majority of councillors (seven out of nine) agreed to oppose it.
Cordina said that Infrastructure Malta never consulted the local council about the Central Link project, with contact between the two bodies limited to an information meeting in which Infrastructure Malta explained to the council what the project will consist of.
He added that Infrastructure Malta never explained what alternatives it had considered before agreeing to go ahead with the Central Link project, that will require the destruction of 549 trees and almost 50,000 square metres of agricultural land.
“Infrastructure Malta merely told me that they considered alternatives without giving any detail,” he said.
A protest will be held this Sunday, which will see people tie themselves to the trees facing the chop as a symbolic action.
Moviment Graffitti has also announced that it plans to organise a separate mass protest, not only against the Central Link project, but also against issues such as the bullying of developers in Malta, land reclamation in the South and the lack of a strategy to create affordable and clean mass transport for everyone.