Updated 12.50pm

The closure of Triq l-Indipendenza, the main road of Pieta leading to Valletta, has caused gridlock nearby and slow-moving traffic across the country, with the Malta Public Transport reporting “severe delays” in its service.

Infrastructure Malta announced last week that the northbound carriageway of L-Indipendenza Road, from Floriana to Pieta, will be closed for maintenance and resurfacing works for more than two weeks.

It will reopen on Thursday, August 11.

Footage: Chris Sant Fournier

The agency appealed to motorists to follow diversion signs to alternative routes, including Sa Maison Hill.

A Ta' Xbiex resident told Times of Malta that several ambulances have been trying to squeeze through the static traffic since this morning, finding it very difficult to get through and drivers having nowhere to go to get out of the way.

However a health ministry spokesperson said ambulances out on emergency calls were not getting stuck in traffic. 

Despite the diversions, Malta Public Transport reported severe delays in its service due to the closure of the main thoroughfare in Pietà.

The diversion is affecting all routes serving bus stops “Pieta 1059” and “Bombi 1 1060” in the direction towards Valletta. Route buses coming from Msida or Ta’ Xbiex are being diverted onto Xatt it-Tiben and proceeding onto Triq Sa Maison, then continuing towards Valletta.

It said this was affecting all buses operating the following routes: 13, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 24, 25, 31, 32, 35, 41, 43, 44, 45, 46, 48, 49, 50, 54, 56, 238, 250, 260, N13 and TD13.

The road closure has also resulted in very slow-moving traffic in other various parts of the island, with one motorist reporting that it took almost 90 minutes to get from Mosta to Msida on Monday morning.

MPT said the slow-moving traffic was impacting many routes and the overall public transport service reliability and punctuality.

“While we apologise for the inconvenience caused to our passengers, we are working hard to provide the best public transport service possible under the circumstances,” it said in its statement.

MPT confirmed when contacted that Transport Malta had informed them about the road closure and the diversions in place.

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