The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) held a meeting with transport minister Austin Gatt and other senior executives from Transport Malta to discuss the current state of roads and related restructuring projects in Malta and Gozo.
MHRA president Tony Zahra said proper roads were critical for the tourism industry, for both transportation access and environmental embellishment.
However Zahra said it was necessary that project time-frames are properly communicated at the site of works and that the relevant public authorities should ensure that public money is well spent by ensuring that contractors adhere to contractual obligations.
"A tourist who visits Malta today and does not see any form of communication on-site where road works are being conducted will have his experience of our country marred," Zahra said.
The MHRA said Gatt informed them that most roadworks had to be necessarily carried out in parallel over the past months due to EU funding obligations, but recognised that this caused various unavoidable inconveniences.
"Gatt agreed with MHRA that there should be better traffic management, however both agreed that this has had its limitations too. MHRA hailed the various initiatives that are being carried out by the relevant public authorities to enhance 'product Malta' and also welcomed minister Gatt's commitment that most of the current major roadworks will be completed by the end of July 2012," Zahra said.
These include Council of Europe Road, Garibaldi Street, Sea Passenger Terminal Road, Marfa Road and most road works in Gozo. Minister Gatt also stated that the Mellieha Bypass will be complete by end of 2012, whereas the Marsa Under Pass is currently behind schedule due to archaeological findings.