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  • ESG Radio Newsletter 24/02/22

    Transport issues in Gibraltar have always been of interest and concern to the ESG and we have been lobbying for improvements in this sector of our lives for some time now. The Committee recently met with the Minister for Transport to discuss these matters in the context of the Climate Strategy published some 3 months ago as well as lay before him our most pressing transport issues.

    We wanted to find out if the Climate Strategy produced by the Dept of Environment is being rolled out in practice. If the strategy is to succeed its targets must systematically replace priorities within departments and do so within stated timelines.

    Transport is a particularly tricky area as it has a direct impact on all our lives and covers activity by all sections of our community, including the foreign factor. It is a major challenge, not just to get on your bike or walk, but, as the strategy points out, to shift our car and motorbike reliance community to cleaner vehicles and alternate and healthier mobility choices, with the steering and implementation of several time lined measures.

    This will require, in our view, a good measure of cross party support as well as forensic execution. Major investment will be required to support adapting the existing car, bus and taxi fleets to less polluting options. Infrastructure and services needed to support such changes as set out in the strategy should start now if the timings are to be met.

    At the meeting we also focused on more immediate targets that we feel could make a real difference to our quality of life. Those are

    • no idling to be strictly enforced around schools, bus stops and at tourist sites – idling produces toxic emissions which can cause multiple health issues esp. in the young and elderly
    • Noise pollution from vehicles to be policed
    • Second hand buses to be scrapped and upgraded to match euro stds at the very least and then onto cleaner technology fuels
    • Ensure park and ride schemes for visitors are well in place ahead of full resumption of tourist numbers coming to Gibraltar
    • Need to stamp out heavily polluting vehicles whatever registration
    • Greater enforcement of illegal driving practices 
    • Regulation on Scooters

    The Minister and his team advised there would be a number of new measures published soon and that work is underway to begin to address the strategy targets.

    The ESG will continue to monitor these developments and raise concerns as part of our own objectives towards a healthier and greener Gibraltar.

    For more info please visit esg-gib.net.