The Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects categorically denies what was reported in a local journal regarding the removal of all trees in the area including the road between Attard and Ta’ Qali—a road which will be rebuilt from scratch as part of the Central Link Project.
In fact, apart from the fact that the majority of indicated trees are to remain in place in a specially designed central strip, this project also aims to have 212 additional trees planted.
During the planning stages of this project, Transport Malta architects discussed the project with the Environment and Resources Authority to ensure that the entire project would have the least possible environmental impact.
In fact, the majority of trees referred to, which are found on Mdina Road, will stay in place and will be protected thanks to a central strip between the two carriageways in opposite directions. The environmental authorities suggested this solution, which was employed on the Coast Road in the area of Kennedy Grove, and Transport Malta architects included it as part of the environmental measures to be introduced.
Furthermore, in cases where the removal of trees is necessary to ensure that the new roads are safer, these will be replanted in other places, while the areas from which they will have been removed will see the planting of new trees instead. The new trees to be planted in such places will not be small but mature trees of the same type and size as the existing ones.
In this way, upon completion of the Central Link Project, not only will the number of trees not be decreased, but 212 additional trees will have been planted.
The Central Link Project is a project which will improve the entire route encompassing the Mrieħel Bypass in the direction of Birkirkara, Balzan and Attard, up to the Saqqajja Hill roundabout, which connects Ta’ Qali, Attard, Rabat, Żebbuġ and Mosta. This project will redesign a new 13 junctions and will widen one-lane bottlenecks along the arterial link. It will not only be improving travelling times, but will also reduce vehicle emissions by 13.5%. The Central Link Project will improve and create 7.4 kilometres of new lanes and will introduce 19,300 square metres of landscaped areas with trees and shrubs, 2 kilometres of cycle lanes, 10.7 kilometres of pedestrian passageways and facilities, and a grade-separated overpass for pedestrians and cyclists.