Labour leader Robert Abela on Wednesday blamed recent traffic problems on delays in onsite investigations by magistrates following crashes.
Abela was asked about the island’s traffic woes after motorists were left fuming when a collision earlier in the day saw part of Regional Road closed off.
He said he could not comment on Wednesday's gridlock, as he did not know what had caused the traffic, but that other, similar incidents in recent weeks were caused by judicial delays.
“In the two previous incidents we had a situation of incidents happening at a particular time and the magisterial inquiries starting hours later,” he said.
He said he was in not criticising magistrates or their decisions to appoint experts for inquiries - that, he said, is in their discretion.
“But let’s understand the requirements of the public. While these inquiries and their findings need to happen, we cannot allow a number of hours to pass for them to get underway,” Abela told reporters.
On March 14, debris from a major crash on the Regional Road took hours to be removed, causing long traffic tailbacks on the key thoroughfare.
At the time sources had told Times of Malta that the delays were also caused because police had to await hospital certification of the accident victim’s injuries before a magisterial inquiry could be launched and the road eventually cleared.
On February 16, most of the central and south of Malta remained at a standstill after a truck toppled in a horrific accident in Marsa.
More than six hours after the accident, social media was inundated with drivers reporting being stuck in traffic for hours and warning fellow drivers to avoid the long lines which seem to be stretching all the way from Marsa to Msida Skatepark, Mater Dei and Valletta, Luqa to Żabbar and Qormi to Żebbuġ.
Traffic consistently polls as one of the public’s main concerns.
While the Nationalist Party has pledged to deliver a trackless tram transport system, the Labour government unveiled plans to explore a mass metro system shortly before the start of the election campaign.
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