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Residents' parking in Swatar

I want to ask establishments in Swatar, such as the HSBC Call Centre and Tower Business Centre, why, when planning and developing their premises, they failed to adequately take employees' parking facilities into consideration.

I live in the area and it has become a serious issue trying to find a parking space within walking distance of home. Employees are parking in residential areas and obviously occupying spaces from early morning till quite late at night, usually well after office hours.

This lack of proper parking facilities for employees is, to say the least, disrespectful to the local residents who have lost their right to park in comfort at any time of the day. We are experiencing difficulties and this is creating frustration and inconvenience to everyone here, particularly working adults and with small children.

Will HSBC and Tower Business Centre be doing something about this issue soon? I believe that Tower Business Centre does not provide parking facilities and HSBC's current parking spaces are surely not enough. To add insult to injury, even if parking spaces are available along the main road (Triq it-Torri), employees choose to park near our homes.

I expect HSBC to take proper measures to alleviate the residents' parking problems for which, after all, it is partly responsible. The Tower Business Centre should also take action, as well as similar building which is in a well advanced stage of construction, which I believe will be housing APS Bank's new centralised offices.

These enterprises should buy land to create parking facilities or enlarge their current parking areas, apart from encouraging their employees to take up car pooling which is also good for the environment.

Not only have we residents of Swatar to endure the increasing nuisance and pollution in an already densely populated area, but we also have to wait in our cars after a day's work hoping that some employee leaves to make a parking space available.

There are various ways in which the local council can also ensure that residents' rights are respected. Traffic wardens should not be present only when issuing tickets to local residents who end up parking outside parking bays just because visitors are depriving them of parking near their homes.

For a start, as has been done in other areas, the Birkirkara council should introduce a residential parking zone in this area of Swatar. Residents of busy urban centres all over Europe and even in Malta benefit from such schemes already. The local council should apply to the Malta Transport Authority to introduce a residential parking scheme at least in the following streets: Triq il-Graffiti Navali, Triq il-Qanpiena, Triq il-Qattus, Triq is-Sisla, and Triq L. Onofrio.

To make matters worse, the parking area of the St George Preca parish church is now available solely during church functions. Should Fr Gordon Refalo or whoever is responsible consider introducing a system whereby this huge car park (which is highly underutilised) is available to residents?

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