Govt tweaks Line Wall plan following community concerns over traffic restrictions
Acting on community concerns about the proposed closure of Line Wall Road, the Gibraltar Government said it will progress the project in phases meaning the road will only be subject to restrictions for three days of the week.
This means that while Line Wall Road will close on Monday June 1 as planned, except for defined categories of road users, it will open for the rest of the week and then close again at the weekend.
It will operate on the basis of having restricted access on Mondays, Saturdays and Sundays initially during June.
“This will allow us to monitor traffic patterns and carry out a live consultation with our residents on a daily basis,” the Minister for Traffic and Transport, Vijay Daryanani, said, adding: “We will make changes as and when required.”
“We understand there is concern in the community but we want our people to embrace this new idea, and therefore, we will carry this out in a phased approach.”
“That is to say that from Tuesday to Friday nothing will change at the moment,” he said.
Speaking at the daily press briefing, Mr Daryanani said the Government had made clear that it would carry out a comprehensive consultation exercise and that this is a pilot project.
But asked by the Chronicle why the project had already been watered down, Mr Daryanani said this was not the case.
“It hasn’t been watered down, we’re very keen that the consultation exercise is thorough and therefore I think it would be better if we did it like this with a live consultation exercise,” he said.
“On Monday we will close the roads and see what happens, we will see the effect and it will give us the opportunity to change things as we go along.”
Asked about the impact on businesses in the area, Mr Daryanani insisted that they need not worry.
“I’ve spoken to a lot of the businesses that have contacted me and I’ve told them they will be allowed access into the area and nothing will change for them.”
Pressed on the impact of the project on the Line Wall Road petrol station, which relies on the flow of traffic in the area, he said: “I understand their concern but people who want to go and fill up their petrol can use that station without needing to go on to Line Wall Road.”
“They will have to see how this affects them but I don’t really think that it will affect them to a level where their business will encounter any problems.”
The Government, having ruled out the introduction of a road tax, is considering a pollution charge instead.
“If we decide to introduce this, the revenue raised will not pay for general government projects. We are looking at using these funds for specific traffic and transport related green programs,” Mr Daryanani said.
“We want to give you a child-friendly city that you will be proud of.”