“Fawlty towers style management of traffic and transport”- reopening of Line Wall Road
In May the Government announced they would close Line Wall Road without having adequately done public consultation or ensuring that support measures were in place. They announced then that it would close Line Wall Road as from 1 June 2020 to all vehicles save for taxis, buses, deliveries and residents of the area in order to create a “magnificent new public realm for pedestrians and for bicycles’ with the aim of reducing pollution.
In a monumental climb down and after nearly 6 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.
The haphazard chronology of the Line Wall Road project is filled with a litany of mistake after mistake more reflective of an episode of Fawlty Towers rather than a carefully planned, well considered and properly executed traffic and transport decision that people deserve and expect. Not once in the Government’s announcement yesterday was the main plank of their 2019 manifesto promise to create a greener and cleaner Gibraltar mentioned- it appears that the green agenda has crashed. The sole emphasis of yesterday’s massive uTurn was the further monitoring of traffic infrastructure and sewage works to the area. The only thing Government have managed to cause for many months is traffic chaos. 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 MP 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.”