In accordance with Article 22(4) of the Ombudsman Act, the Commissioner for Environment and Planning Perit Alan Saliba, has presented the Final Opinion to the House of Representatives on a complaint related to an access restriction following the implementation of a one-way system in Mosta.
Changes in the traffic system on Triq San Silvestru Mosta from a two-way to a one-way direction have caused garage owners to voice their grievances. The new system prevents them from fully utilising their garage because they must now manoeuvre their vehicles from the narrower part of the road.
The Local Council initially insisted this was a temporary measure whilst other roadworks in Mosta were underway. However, the one-way system persisted even after the completion of these works. The Commissioner observed that the impacted garage is situated in an area where the street narrows from a width of about 5 metres to a width of 3.3 metres. Consequently, the garage can now only accommodate three vehicles instead of four.
While it is conceivable that safety concerns might warrant a change in street traffic direction to a one-way system, it is equally important to ensure that such changes do not infringe upon the utility of private properties. There are alternative methods to manage similar situations, such as the introduction of traffic calming measures and/or intelligent systems.
The Commissioner recommended the restoration of two-way traffic on this part of Triq San Silvestru, coupled with the implementation of additional safety measures.
The Mosta Local Council did not act upon the Commissioner’s recommendations and the case was escalated to the Prime Minister. Since no action was taken thereafter, the Commissioner submitted the report for the consideration of the House of Representatives.