Council says it is tackling Pool parking chaos - Parliamentary Secretary's car blocked on Friday

The empty car park at the Tal-Qroqq National Pool.

The empty car park at the Tal-Qroqq National Pool.

The Malta Sports Council said this afternoon that action was being taken to increase the number of parking spaces near the National Pool at Tal-Qroqq while facilitating access for emergency vehicles.

A day after The Sunday Times of Malta reported how the car park was closed after the car of the Parliamentary Secretary for Sport was blocked, the council said the problem of blocking of access had existed for a long time, and for years, no action was taken to have a proper system of parking.

This could lead to problems of emergency vehicles being unable to reach the site.

Therefore, works would be carried out to increase parking spaces and improve management. Works would be completed within two days. Parking would be free of charge.

The Sunday Times of Malta reported yesterday that parents accompanying their children to Skola Sport lessons as well as swimmers who frequent the Tal-Qroqq national pool were left fuming on Saturday morning following orders from Parliamentary Secretary Stefan Buontempo to ban use of the car park.

The decision was taken on Friday following an incident involving Dr Buontempo, whose car had been blocked by another vehicle.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Youth and Sport justified his decision on safety grounds, saying the car park needed to provide access for an ambulance in case of an emergency. He added that a few years ago, he had witnessed an accident during a waterpolo match, but the ambulance could not reach the pool entrance as some cars were blocking the entrance.

“My primary concern is the safety of the children frequenting the complex and I could no longer allow the haphazard parking which has been prevailing for years,” he said.

Probed whether he decided to take action only because of his personal experience less than 24 hours earlier, Dr Buontempo insisted this was not the case.

He said that on Friday as he was leaving the pool he noticed that his car, together with a number of others, was being blocked by another vehicle.

Dr Buontempo confirmed that as a “normal citizen” he called the police and instructed them to take action. Eventually they turned up and towed away the woman’s car which had been obstructing the exit.

Asked whether his decision to ban parking completely was a drastic overreaction, the Parliamentary Secretary said there was still ample parking space in the area.

“Parents taking their children to school do not enter the premises with their own car but park outside in an orderly manner and walk,” argued Dr Buontempo who said this should also apply to those visiting national pool.


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