Line Wall Road to reopen as normal on Monday
Line Wall Road will resume normal traffic movements in both directions as from Monday, the Gibraltar Government has announced, as it apologised to drivers for the impact of restrictions in recent weeks.
In a statement, No.6 Convent Place said the decision followed completion of a data collection exercise to assess the impact of restrictions on flow and traffic management.
But it comes too after controversy about the changes, which created knock-on queues in other areas of Gibraltar including Queensway and had proved deeply unpopular with many in the community.
“I want to thank Vijay Daryanani for the work he has done on this project on behalf of the Government,” said Chief Minister Fabian Picardo.
“He has been fronting the project and has had to endure the less than edifying statements from some people.”
“We now have the data necessary to analyse how different options affect traffic on Line Wall Road and we have the ability to make an informed decision on traffic flow as a result.”
“I recognise this matter has raised concerns for many people and I want people to know that we are not just looking at the data.”
“We are also listening to the views being expressed to us about the traffic flow by those who have written directly to us to express their views in a rational, reasoned and responsible manner.”
Mr Picardo later tweeted that the government was going "back to the drawing board" with its plans for Line Wall Road.
We've going back to the drawing board now on Line Wall Road. It will be open, two-way, everyday as normal from Monday. Vijay has done a great job in fronting this for the whole Cabinet. We'll consider this data & the reasonable representations made direct to us before next steps! pic.twitter.com/Frf7A5a7DG
— Fabian Picardo (@FabianPicardo) November 6, 2020
The GSD, which has been sharply critical of the Line Wall project and has accused the government of a lack of planning, reacted to the development by describing the rapid succession of changes to the scheme as "a comedy act".
LineWall Rd - a comedy in 4 Acts. 1. To be definitely closed all the time. 2. Actually, to be closed 3days a week “initially.” 3. Actually, to be open 7days a wk but only northbound. 4. 5days later...to be open all the time in both directions. #planning #shambolic #FawltyTowers pic.twitter.com/OtbrhrSG2F
— Keith Azopardi (@keith_azopardi) November 6, 2020
The Government said it would now analyse the traffic movement data from the two phases of “the pilot project”, during which different restrictions were in place.
In the first phase, traffic on Line Wall Road had been completely restricted except for residents and service vehicles on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays.
The second phase allowed for traffic in a northerly direction only, with southbound traffic restricted.
“It is obvious that the arrangements put in place for phase two have resolved all issues for northbound traffic but have left us with a number of issues for motorists travelling south,” No.6 said in the statement.
“The Ministry for Transport, as part of the pilot project, has throughout monitored closely the density of southbound traffic along Queensway during peak and off-peak hours.”
“The Government would like to apologise to motorists for the inconvenience caused by the trials in the management of traffic flow.”
“It is important to understand that the information gathered will contribute to the decision-making process.”
The Government said it will now review all the data from phase one and phase two of the Line Wall Road pilot project, as well as the data used to compile the Sustainable Traffic and Transport Plan, in order to assess how to best address the issues that have arisen and determine the way forward.