Reckless driving on Cospicua seafront has residents worried

Transport Malta pledges solutions

Residents have observed “frequent destruction” of bollards lining the road. Photos: Matthew Mirabelli

Residents have observed “frequent destruction” of bollards lining the road. Photos: Matthew Mirabelli

Residents have raised the alarm about “reckless driving at high speed” along the Cospicua seafront, with the transport watchdog promising it will improve the safety of the area.

While the residents said they were grateful for the Dock One regeneration project, they complained that since its completion there have been significant pedestrian safety issues and speeding violations.

In a letter addressed to the Transport Ministry, the Friends of Cottonera Forum flagged the death of a driver, an accident in which Parliamentary Secretary Chris Agius was injured, and the “frequent destruction” of bollards lining the road.

The bollards lining Pjazza Pawlino Vassallo were damaged again this week.

“It appears that the newly introduced penalty point system is not having its effect on reckless drivers in this particular area and they seem confident that, in the absence of a speed camera or police officers, their actions will not be penalised,” a spokeswoman said.

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Speed is limited to 20km/h in the area.Speed is limited to 20km/h in the area.

The residents submitted a list of suggestions, which they hoped would be taken on board by the relevant authorities.

“There is a disturbing level of reckless driving at high speed,” the spokeswoman noted.

“Speed limits are posted but not enforced. Complaints to the police have not led to any improvements.”

While better driver education was useful in the long term, measures with immediate results included adding speed bumps or other physical barriers and pedestrianisation of the entire area, with traffic to Vittoriosa being re-routed outside the bastion walls.

Traffic lights could also be installed at both ends of Ix-Xatt Ta’ Bormla and Triq Santa Teresa.

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When it comes to pedestrian access, the bridge across the former dry dock was well-used by locals and tourists, however, there was no street crossing foreseen at the pathway leading to the bridge.

This was a dangerous intersection and traffic rarely, if ever, stopped for pedestrians, residents  said. Among others, they suggested the installation of traffic lights or a speed camera.

When contacted, Transport Malta said it would start implementing a series of solutions to improve the safety of the area as from Monday.

A spokesman noted that the solutions will tackle a number of the issues which the forum is concerned about.

“The authority will, among others, upgrade the current zebra crossing to a pedestrian-controlled, pelican crossing and will also implement an anti-skid surface to control vehicular speed better, enhancing pedestrian safety.

“While these plans were in place before the letter sent by the forum, TM applauds the interest shown by this organisation and the constructive manner it tackled the issue,” he said.

The spokesman added the authority was committed to improving road safety levels and worked hand-in-hand with local government and other stakeholders to reach that objective.

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