Mr Godwin Xerri participated in a conference organized by Transport Malta entitled “Public and Private: An alliance towards a modal shift – The sustainable Multi-Intermodal Transport Hubs (SMITHS).”
On this occasion, the MMF Chairman delivered a presentation on the subject of “Unlocking the Green and Cost Saving Potential of Water Transport” in which he elaborated on the concept of Short Sea Shipping whilst outlining its benefits for Malta in terms of sustainable transport. He explained that a shift towards waterborne traffic, wherever possible, needed to be considered as part of the solution towards decarbonisation and traffic congestion. To this end, he suggested the introduction of a Ro-Ro service to transport cargo between the Malta Freeport and Mġarr Harbour in Gozo possibly with a stop-over in the north of Malta.
Mr Xerri said that the shift to a higher share of waterborne traffic needed to be considered as part of a larger, more holistic plan, which could also possibly include the setting up of mass transport systems to incentivize a reduction in the use of private cars; addressing and rethinking established societal practices which lead to congestion citing the 8 o’clock syndrome as a prime example; and diverting passengers, cars and commercial traffic to more efficient alternatives such as the sea. On the latter score, he suggested 4 routes that could be studied and eventually implemented if found to result advantageous in terms of reductions in congestion and harmful emissions.