Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg welcomed the official representatives of the local councils of Ħal Luqa, Ħal Tarxien, Birżebbuġa and Żejtun for an event during which the winning projects for permanent sustainable mobility measures, presented by each respective local council, were announced.
This year marks the 20th edition of the European Mobility Week. The theme chosen for this year is ‘Safe and Healthy with Sustainable Mobility’.
Minister Ian Borg talked about the importance of such events in order to continue to solidify this government’s vision in favour of sustainability and noted the importance of moving towards electrification in the most natural manner and with the least impact on people. This is so that, in the near future, we will be able to enjoy a more sustainable environment with less emissions and a greener lung.
For this year’s Permanent Sustainable Mobility competition, Transport Malta received 16 applications in total. After an evaluation by the respective adjudication committee, four local councils were chosen.
The winner for this year is the Ħal Luqa Local Council, which will be awarded a grant of €50,000. The local council proposed the purchase of an electric vehicle which includes the installation of a respective charging pillar to provide transportation services for elderly persons to the day care centre, the introduction of a transportation service for those who need to commute from Ħal Farruġ to Ħal Luqa, as well as the introduction of transport services to the Ħal Kirkop Health Centre for elderly persons and residents.
The Ħal Tarxien Local Council placed second, with a grant of €30,000. It applied for the purchase of an 8-seater electric van to provide an on-demand transportation service for the elderly and the mobility-impaired. This is in order to have easy access to services in neighbouring towns such as Paola and Fgura and other localities.
The Birżebbuġa Local Council places third, with a grant of €25,000. This local council applied for funds in order to convert Triq iż-Żebbuġ in Birżebbuġa into a more secure space. This road is in close proximity to the seafront promenade and will assist in improving permeability for pedestrians and cyclists. The proposal includes paving, foldable benches and tables, bicycle racks, as well as space for e-scooters. Furthermore, the proposal will also include landscaping.
In fourth place, with a €25,000 grant, the Żejtun Local Council applied for the setting up and provision of an on-demand transportation service within the community of Żejtun for the elderly and vulnerable persons. The local council proposed a 7-seater electric van, which would provide much-needed intercommunity mobility and accessibility to the main services and public spaces in Żejtun. It is to be noted that this project shall be an additional enhancer for the ‘Slow Streets’ project taken up by the local council and the Local Councils Association together with Transport Malta.
In conclusion, the minister expressed his thanks to all participants and urged all local councils to push forward these incentives and innovative ideas, which will ultimately prompt a leap forward and improvement in our localities and communities.