7 August 2013

Malta Motor Madness

Stepping out of our home in Malta, it seems as if we lived in a huge parking place:
Malta (and Gozo) is just full of cars. Every household owns an average of two cars, if not more, and even short distances are often not walked but driven (scroll down for some statistics). Children are being delivered to and picked up from school by car. Too dangerous for walking or biking say their mothers. Understandable, as you can see for yourself every day how many red lights are being jumped. And indication lights are just decoration on the chassis. Public transportation is widely available, but due to the chaos at rush our in particular (caused by too many cars). Arriva's on time rate is as poor as 70%. And since London's mayor Ben Johnson dumped Arriva's bendy buses from London's narrow streets, they replaced the picturesque old Maltese buses the same year and now struggle with the road system in the Maltese Islands. Needless to mention that complaints about the bus system amongst the Maltese are omnipresent.

How to solve this? I guess any politician who wanted to restrict the number of cars per household to 1 (just like Bermuda) would commit political suicide. At the moment. So we will continue to sit in traffic jams and wait for an ideal solution to fall from the skies ...

Some Statistics:
Increase in motor vehicles by June 2013
by: di-ve.com news

At the end of June, 2013, the stock of licensed motor vehicles stood at 318,720, up by almost 1% over the previous quarter, of which 79.3% were passenger cars, 14.5% were commercial vehicles, 5.1% were motorcycles, while buses and minibuses accounted for less than one%.

New licences issued during the period under review amounted to 4,514. The majority of new licences (3,561 or 78.9% of the total) were issued to passenger cars, followed by goods-carrying vehicles with 448. Newly-licensed ‘new’ motor vehicles amounted to 1,977, or 43.8% of the total, and newly licensed ‘used’ motor vehicles totalled 2,537. This increase may be due, in part, to a reduction in the rates of registration tax for passenger cars and goods carrying vehicles with euro 5 or 6 engines, and the reduction or abolition of the registration tax for motorcycles. The new rates were announced in quarter one.

In the second quarter this year, 36 vehicles were exported. Garaged vehicles amounted to 1,867, while scrapped vehicles totaled 1,254.

As at the end of June, 194,446 vehicles, or 61.0%, of the total had petrol engines. Vehicles with diesel engines reached 123,721, or 38.8% of the total.