Anyone travelling to or from Mellieħa yesterday evening found themselves stuck in a seemingly endless and winding queue of cars after a couple of traffic accidents put the northern town and surrounding areas on lockdown.
Mellieħa’s main access point is via one road, Triq it-Telgħa ta’ Selmun, and if this gets blocked, the town practically becomes inaccessible. Vehicles were forced to wait up to an hour and a half in Mellieħa, Manikata, and Xemxija as motorists attempted to find a way into Mellieħa, with the alternative entrance of Miżieb soon becoming slammed with traffic as well.
A video sent in by a reader shows the extent of traffic in Manikata alone.
Commuters didn’t hold back from venting their frustrations.
“Only in Malta will you find a European Award-winning town perched on an inaccessible hilltop,” said one Mellieħa resident.
“For anyone thinking of going through Mellieħa for whatever reason it may be, don’t. The traffic there currently is beyond painful,” said another resident attempting to make his way home yesterday evening.
“Cars completely at standstill, it is horrendous. 40 minutes from Mellieħa to Manikata church already!” said another commuter.
Police confirmed that an accident took place at 1:30pm between a 64-year-old Englishman and a 28-year-old Slovakian motorcyclist. The motorcyclist was taken to hospital with serious injuries. A few hours later, another accident occurred in Triq il-Mistra (which is one the same road as Triq it-Telgħa ta’ Selmun) with the two vehicles involved in the accident blocking both lanes.
The traffic lasted well beyond 8pm, with one motorist describing what he saw in the first stretch of his multiple hour wait.
“When I first hit the major point of traffic, I saw a couple walking by. 45 minutes or so later I went past them before I got to Mellieha. They must’ve laughed quite hard,” he said wryly.
Many motorists were left calling for a new entrance to be created to access the northern part of the island, especially in light of the entire town becoming inaccessible due to a couple of accidents.