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Months of ‘traffic chaos’ signal ‘poor management’ of traffic, GSD says

Eyleen Gomez

The GSD on Thursday accused the Gibraltar Government of causing many months of “traffic chaos” in Line Wall Road before taking a policy u-turn and allowing northbound traffic seven days a week.

The party said the Line Wall project was a “litany of mistake after mistake” and was more reflective of an episode of Fawlty Towers than a “carefully planned, well considered and properly executed traffic and transport decision that people deserve and expect”.

It added that not once in the announcement did the Government refer to a “cleaner and greener Gibraltar” that formed part of its 2019 manifesto.

The sole emphasis was on the further monitoring of traffic infrastructure and sewage works to the area, the GSD added.

“The only thing Government have managed to cause for many months is traffic chaos,” the GSD said in a statement.

“Many unanswered questions are left by this announcement which does very little to instil confidence that the Government's policy is anything more than a reactive response to public outcry.”

Shadow Minister for Transport, Health and the Environment, Elliott Phillips said: “We have been very critical of the Government’s handling and management of their closure plans of this major arterial road because it represented very poor planning.”

“We asked the Government to pause, reflect and, if need be, go back to the drawing board and engage in constructive dialogue with all stakeholders.”

“The Chief Minister and the Transport Minister have presided over traffic chaos with many in our community seriously questioning the ability of the Government to properly manage transport and traffic policy.”

The Gibraltar Government announced the closure of Line Wall Road as from June 1 to all vehicles except for taxis, buses, delivery vehicles and residents in the area with the aim to reduce pollution.

The GSD said this decision was taken without adequate public consultation or ensuring support measures were in place.

It said: “In a monumental climb down and after nearly six months of utter traffic chaos and widespread public backlash, the Line Wall Road policy evolved from a full closure to partial closure to a restricted access to now a reopening of Line Wall Road northbound to cars and north and south bound to all public service vehicles.”