Transport Malta launched the National Transport Strategy 2050 and a ten-year draft Transport Master Plan for public consultation.
This is the first time that a national, comprehensive and action-oriented transport master plan has been presented for public consultation. It is indeed a plan that will guide policy makers to drop the customary short-term only approach to solving transport issues, and start taking decisions in a coherent manner fitting within a wider strategic framework with studied outcomes.
The Transport Strategy has a time horizon up to 2050 with its established vision to “provide a sustainable transport system which is efficient, inclusive, safe, integrated and reliable for people and freight, and which supports urban, rural and coastal environments and communities where people want to live and work: now and in the future”. It identifies a set of strategic goals and guiding principles through which decision-making can be filtered with a view to creating a sustainable mix of measures that can achieve a calculated desired outcome. It also establishes specific targets in key objectives that can be measured and met.
The Transport Master Plan 2025 identifies a set of concrete measures to be implemented over the short, medium and longer term spanning all modes of transport – land, air, maritime and intermodal. The measures are also studied through a national transport model, purposely built to gauge and predict outcomes under different future transport scenarios compared with a ‘Do-Nothing’ scenario. The Transport Master Plan 2025 identifies and addresses major transportation issues like traffic congestion, air quality, safety and public transport punctuality. It puts forward measures to remove traffic bottlenecks on the strategic road network, at the sea ports and the airport; includes policies and measures to incentivize sustainable and greener transport to make our towns and cities more livable, and identifies the technological solutions needed to manage and optimise the efficiency of our existing transport infrastructures.
The Transport Plan also identifies a vast array of projects that need to be implemented, foremost amongst which are 29 major road interventions, infrastructure to promote cycling and other healthy commuting patterns, investment in port facilities and longer term project studies like the Malta-Gozo permanent link and a mass rapid transport system. The plan also identifies a series of necessary studies that need to be undertaken, particularly in the preparation for a longer term measures and projects.