Launch of the ‘Slow Streets’ action plan

Reference Number: PR201145, Press Release Issue Date: Jun 17, 2020
 
Minister for the National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government José Herrera and Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Project Ian Borg addressed the launch of the Slow Streets initiative, organised by the Local Council Association. Slow Streets is an action plan to ensure that mobility within our communities is safe, sustainable, healthy and efficient.

Minister José Herrera stated that through this initiative our communities will see an improvement in their quality of life. He went on to say that mobility within the community is one of the main aspects the government, through local government, is actively working to improve and mentioned that the initiative taken by the association is a commendable measure in order to provide our communities more open spaces for the benefit of our communities.

“Our aim is to enable more citizens to effectively move through our cities and towns in a secure manner. We want our community to feel safe walking around our city cores, use more public transport and use greener and healthier options as modes of transport such as bicycles”, stated Minister Herrera, while also stating that as minister responsible for local government, the ministry will be issuing various schemes and funds in order to continue building on such important initiative.

“Our communities are important to us and we are committed to give them better and more beautiful spaces, safe infrastructure to use sustainable means of transport like walking and cycling, and better air quality. With such an initiative, not only are we promoting a better quality of life for the residents of our communities, but we are also coupling this concept with our work towards a change in our transport culture and our walk towards multimodality”, stated Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg.

He commended the 42 local councils which came forward to participate in this initiative and encouraged others to do the same for their residents. Minister Borg also had words of praise for Transport Malta who worked and will continue to work hard to make this possible thanks to work between the central government and local government.

“The local council’s vision, for a better quality of life, which amongst other priorities included sustainable mobility was presented way back in October. A vision inspired from the feedback mayors and councillors were getting from the close contact with residents on a day to day basis. In this new reality, this vision is more relevant today and presents us with an unprecedented opportunity to act now”, stated Mario Fava, President of the Local Council Association. 

The Local Council Association, in collaboration with Transport Malta, will be working together with a number of local councils on this action plan in order to promote walking, cycling and public transport, in parallel with other educational campaigns to avoid unnecessary travel.  As part of Slow Streets, local councils in coordination with Transport Malta will be temporarily closing a number of streets to traffic, which will result in additional free and unencumbered open public space and priority will be given to pedestrians and bicycles for essential travel. Following the temporary pedestrianisation, the local council will study the degree of pedestrianisation it should implement according to the locality, street and the needs of the residents. 

Slow Streets will give residents an opportunity to experience their neighbourhoods in a new way, as a number of safe walking corridors will connect shops, churches and piazzas amongst other things. It was emphasised that residents and their wellbeing are at the centre of this project. A cycling priority route that links neighbouring localities will trigger a shift to cleaner and sustainable ways of transport. In addition, children would be able to play safely in temporarily designated creative play areas, in areas formerly occupied by cars.​
​​​​​​