Third world conditions on our roads

Road markings are practically non-existent in Malta. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Road markings are practically non-existent in Malta. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

I would like to express my despair at the bad state of Maltese roads and the poor lighting system surrounding them.

I have lived abroad in half a dozen countries and it pains me to say that Maltese roads are the worst I have ever experienced. Let’s start with the lighting. Tunnels are so dimly lit that as you exit the bright sunlight you are suddenly in the dark until your eyes adjust to the poor lighting, and that is dangerous.

Furthermore, there are some stretches of roads, such as the San Ġwann-Naxxar Road, where there is no lighting at all and only your bright lights can get you home. Why? Are we short of bulbs or electricity?

Secondly, road markings are practically non-existent. It is normal in other countries to have a fluorescent white line near the edge of the road on both sides and also lighting on centre strips.

Other countries like the UK, Germany, Singapore, India, Nepal and Libya have had these markings for decades. Germany even has fluorescent short poles on the sides of the road which light up with your lights making it impossible for you to make a mistake.

Two days ago as I was returning from Mdina to Naxxar I looked for the Mosta sign at one roundabout but it was not there. I went round the roundabout twice to make sure. I took a road and ended up in Żebbuġ, somehow finding my way back from there. What a waste of time and petrol. Does no one ever think of tourists in hired cars who are not familiar with Malta’s roads? Just because the locals know the roads, having always lived here, does not mean other people shouldn’t be catered for.

Markings by Transport Malta have always been bad and placed in odd places. They are often microscopic and you see them too late to go in the right direction. Where are the ministers who are responsible for these elementary ideas that would bring Malta up to world standards on the roads?

It’s all very well for Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to visit Japan and brag that Malta’s number one industry is microchips, but what’s the point if he can’t see that our roads are of Third World standard?

When it comes to driving there is no one ruder than the Maltese driver. Try letting someone out of your car without being hooted into the ground. How about the way cars shoot out into a main road from a side street? And what about overtaking on the inside and not using indicators when turning into roads?

So Dr Muscat, before you introduce blockchain please bring our roads up to standard with a few signs and lights in the interest of safety. First things first.

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