BAG meets Francis Zammit Dimech

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MEP Francis Zammit Dimech has called on the European Commission to look into Malta’s cycle lanes, after noting the increasing number of casualties on the country’s roads.

Earlier this month, a 35-year-old cyclist was killed after being hit by a driver just past the new Kappara flyover.

The incident drew the ire of the Bicycle Advocacy Group (BAG), which expressed concerns over the way large infrastructural projects like the Kappara flyover are planned.

Dr Zammit Dimech asked the Commission whether a review of countries’ existing obligations regarding cycle lanes was being planned.

The Commission was also asked to outline the measures being taken to ensure that roads built with EU funds have adequate cycling infrastructure to ensure road safety.

It was also asked to confirm if it was engaging with relevant intergovernmental organisations and stakeholders in Malta.

In a meeting with Hon. Dr Zammit Dimech last week, BAG raised concerns that cycling infrastructure in EU-funded projects was being kept at a bare minimum “solely to fulfil obligations”. This was consequently failing to provide a safe lane for cyclists, the organisation said.

BAG will continue pressing authorities for safer roads and better enforcement in its bid to promote cycling as a feasible and effective way of commuting for daily needs,
— BAG

BAG will continue pressing for safer roads and better enforcement

The group also expressed fears that roads were only being upgraded for cars.

Unless proper action was taken when it came to road safety, fatalities will continue to rise, the group said.

Many cyclists risked their lives by riding along main thoroughfares, and “poorly designed” infrastructure lacked continuous cycling lanes, the organisation said.

It called for help in accessing EU funding for research on alternative means of transport. It also recommended that the government create a commissioner for cyclists.

“BAG will continue pressing authorities for safer roads and better enforcement in its bid to promote cycling as a feasible and effective way of commuting for daily needs,” the group said.

Bicycle Advocacy Group