Traffic / Maltese Roads Traffic Updates Facebook

12.28pm: Updated with Infrastructure Malta and Transport Minister Chris Bonett’s statements.

Many motorists making their daily commute to work were left frustrated on Wednesday (today), as they were stuck in standstill traffic, with reports of congestion stretching from Paola all the way to Pembroke.

One of the reasons behind the traffic congestion is that Infrastructure Malta had planned overnight roadworks for parts of Triq Mikiel Anton Vassalli in Swieqi, with these works originally set to take place on 9th April, 10th April, 16th April and 17th April from 8pm to 5am. While the road closures were initially set to last until 5am, they remained closed beyond on Wednesday, prompting heavy traffic along Regional Road, one of Malta’s arterial roads.

Traffic
Traffic reported at 9am / Google Maps

Facebook page Maltese Roads Traffic Updates shared the first reports of traffic due to the road closure at around 7.50am, the time when many would be heading to work.

“Well done, 1 hour late to work. It usually takes 15 minutes and today it took an hour and a half,” one motorist commented.

The road has since been reopened, yet traffic remains an issue, with further delays expected, Maltese Roads Traffic Updates stated. It also warned motorists about a “small, but deep trench exactly at the St Julian’s traffic lights,” together with parts of the road still having no tarmac.

Traffic / Maltese Roads Traffic Updates Facebook
Triq Mikiel Anton Vassalli in Swieqi, once it was reopened / Maltese Roads Traffic Updates / Facebook

In addition to this, Wednesday also coincided with Eid al-Fitr, the Islamic day of holiday that marks the conclusion of the fasting month of Ramadan. As expected, many flocked to the Islamic Centre in Paola, leading to heavy traffic congestion in the surrounding areas, particularly Corradino in Paola, as well as Fgura, Tarxien, and Cospicua.

The aforementioned Facebook page also highlighted this, stating that the traffic stretches all the way past Marsa’s flyovers and Santa Lucia.

Traffic has been a rising issue in Malta, especially the central and harbour areas, for a number of years. While this is primarily down to overpopulation in the aforementioned areas, it is also not being aided by countless roadworks that are taking place, together with inadequate infrastructure to tackle the increasing number of vehicles on Malta’s roads.

In a post, Infrastructure Malta stated that the Swieqi and St Julian’s junction was scheduled to reopen very early in the morning, yet there was a delay due to “technical complications” in the roadworks.

“After a thorough inspection and verification by Infrastructure Malta’s professionals, the stretch of road in question was reopened for vehicular traffic few hours later than planned which led to this morning’s traffic,” it continued, before apologising for the inconvenience caused.

In a separate statement, Transport Minister Chris Bonett also apologised, adding that the contractor of the works will “shoulder the responsibility” for the delays. “However, I also understand that sometimes, such works result in certain complications,” he added.

With regards to the delays experienced in Paola, Minister Bonett remarked that there was a sizeable number of Transport Malta officials who “tried as much as they can to ease the traffic problem,” yet there was still congestion. “The officials don’t have the physical capabilities to remove the people from the roads, so we required an intervention from the Police, and as a result, the situation took a bit longer to be resolved,” he added.

Many have taken to social media to express their frustration about the reported traffic congestion, with some also pointed out that such delays and congestion are expected to increase once the Msida Creek project, expected to take around two and a half years to be completed, eventually gets underway.

Featured Image:

Traffic congestion at Triq Mikiel Anton Vassalli in Swieqi / Maltese Roads Traffic Updates/ Facebook

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