HM Government of Gibraltar announces as part of the recommendations contained within the Sustainable Traffic, Transport and Parking Plan (STTPP) to improve pedestrian infrastructure, the introduction of a new segregated walking route at South Barrack Ramp on a trial basis.
The aim of this initiative is ultimately to provide safe passage for pedestrians, especially school children, so that walking may be considered a viable option by all in this area. This new walkway will improve pedestrian accessibility to and from the nearby schools, bus stops and residential properties.
Works at South Barrack Ramp have recently been completed which has seen the removal of 13 car parking spaces, with the installation of planters and barriers as a temporary measure, which will provide segregation from the existing traffic and pedestrians transiting this very busy road. Today‘s thinking worldwide within cities is one of moving towards ceding space to pedestrians and raising the importance of the pedestrian to the very top of the hierarchy of road users. Pedestrians are the most vulnerable of road users and walking is the best way to keep healthy, to help the environment and walking drastically cuts our carbon footprint. It is our responsibility to make walking for those who wish to walk, as comfortable and safe as possible, to keep encouraging them to do so whilst at the same time supporting those who feel that walking is dangerous, to be able to consider walking instead of using their car. With this initiative, pedestrians and children now have a safe passageway where previously this was non-existent.
A new Red Zone has been demarcated at the junction with South Barrack Road and South Barrack Ramp to allow a suitable turning circle for vehicles as they turn into the ramp. This nevertheless will be reviewed to gauge its effectiveness, as it must be noted this road remains a 2-way up to the Cancer Relief Centre.
This new initiative will be audited over the following weeks taking into account stakeholder feedback in the area. The ultimate aim is to provide a permanent footpath on South Barrack Ramp once this new footpath is reviewed. The Red Zone will also be revised once drivers become accustomed with the turning circle required to access South Barrack Ramp.
The Ministry of Transport is currently investigating potential alternative locations to re-provide the loss of parking spaces in the immediate area to complement the current parking stock under the Residential Parking Scheme Zone 3.
The Minister for Transport, the Hon Paul Balban said, “This initiative will help make walking, especially for those going to school a safer experience. Prior to this, children and parents would need to seek refuge in-between parked cars in order to cede to oncoming vehicles making walking both dangerous and unpleasant in this area. We expect this initiative will go a long way to support those that wish to walk.”