The Opposition are doing nothing more than paying lip-service to the environment and adopting a populist approach to traffic and transport with complete disregard for the wider picture. Their latest statement on the subject smacks of complete political hypocrisy. The GSD are the last ones who can preach on traffic matters with any degree of credibility after the mess they made during their time in office.
They also seem to have very short and selective memory. It was precisely during their time in Government that certain parking charges were introduced and increased, that plans for a residential parking scheme were hatched, that roads were closed and that precious little was done to improve the plight of the long suffering motorist.
The truth is that what the GSLP/Liberal Government has done is to carry out the most extensive, detailed and comprehensive consultation on traffic and transport matters in living memory. This took over five years and was the subject of frequent criticism from the Opposition for taking too long.
They cannot have it both ways – if the Government consults widely then this is going to take time.
The Sustainable Traffic and Transport Plan (STTP) recommended a reduction in traffic flow along Line Wall Road as well as a number of other improvements. Some of those recommendations are already in place and other are in the pipeline. The Government has made it clear that the three-day-a-week closure of Line Wall Road was precisely a pilot project which would provide further data and information going forward.
The Minister for Business, Tourism and Transport Vijay Daryanani said:
“It is clear that GSD policy on traffic is stuck in the stone age. On the one hand they support the declaration of a Climate Emergency in the Gibraltar Parliament, but when they are called upon to put their money where their mouth is and back concrete ideas their response has been found to be sadly wanting. They cannot run with the hares and hunt with the hounds – either they support radical measures to protect the environment or they are against such action. It is sadly very clear after Mr Philip’s latest outburst that GSD environmental policy is in tatters. They have shown they don’t care about the environment. They only care to stir things up against the government, whatever the cost to Gibraltar.”