Oppose the Central Link Project

Oppose the Central Link Project

Allow me to go straight to the relevant issues concerning the Attard bypass, known as the Central Link Project.

I will start off with what this project is not. The road being proposed in ODZ agricultural land is not a four-lane bypass as was proposed in 2006. It is not going to be a two-way road and will not be linking any areas with each other.

The proposed road is no more than a one-way stretch of road, directly connecting the MFSA roundabout with Saqqajja in one direction. The road will be eating up thousands of square metres of   agricultural land, uprooting hundreds of trees, including protected trees, and destroying water cisterns, natural springs and farmers’ livelihoods as it passes just 10 metres away from the periphery of Attard residential area.

Over 1,100 Attard residents will be exposed to unprecedented levels of noise and pollution, isolating them and raising the pollution levels for well over 5,000 people who live within 200 metres of the roads.

The proposed road will not be handling traffic coming from Mosta, Rabat and all other southern bound traffic as these will be using the existing roads in the village core.

The proposed traffic management modifications will see the closure of a number of intersections. The Mdina Road to Żebbuġ hill intersection, and more importantly the intersection at the Corinthia traffic lights, will require all traffic northward from Balzan, Lija and Valley Road to either proceed through the Attard core or alternatively proceed upward towards the petrol station, proceed all along the existing roads to reach the MFSA roundabout, turn and go back using the bypass, proceed towards Saqqajja, turn back and proceed north or south to go back to Attard.

All traffic using the current route from Rabat and other areas reaching the south must use the same exact roads as before, with no exception. They will still need to deal with the bottleneck near the auction house and will still need to battle the inflow of traffic from Triq ir-Ruzell and Ħal Warda.

This is the simple explanation of what this so-called Central Link Project is all about. The Transport Ministry is invariably not informing people about all this for a very specific and strategic reason. People are under the impression that this bypass is the same project as was proposed in 2006. As I explained, this is not the case. Moreover, people are under the impression that traffic will be diverted away from Attard. Again, this is simply not happening with the plans as they are laid out.

There is simply no gain for Attard residents from the plans as they currently stand, and the only beneficiaries of the one-way road will be those who need to quickly reach Rabat from Santa Venera or from the Mrieħel area. All the rest of us will have to deal with the same bottlenecks and a massive Mrieħel intersectional honeycomb roundabout to make our way to Valletta, and other south bound areas.

In view of all this I appeal to all those who genuinely care for Attard to file an objection with the Planning Authority.  The link to file an objection is: http://pa.movimentgraffitti.org/permit/4 .

Objections will be accepted until September 10.

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