National Transport Strategy and Transport Master Plan

The Integrated Transport Strategy Directorate at Transport Malta has developed a National Transport Strategy, 2050 (NTS) and Transport Master Plan, 2025 (TMP) covering all relevant transport modes (land, public transport, sea and air) for the short, medium and long term for Malta.

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The National Transport Strategy and Transport Master Plan

Following a request by Government to develop the National Transport Strategy and Master Plan, the Integrated Transport Strategy Directorate is analysing all modes of transport (land, public transport, maritime, and aviation), for internal and international transport. This analysis will look closely at the needs of the country (both Malta and Gozo), identifying problems and seeking to understand what we expect to face in future – short, medium and long term. Through the National Transport Strategy, Government will develop a vision of where Malta wants to be in the long term, the strategic direction required to get there.

Besides being a requirement for Malta to be able to access EU structural and innovation funds (2014-2020), this exercise will be the first fully comprehensive look holistically at all transport modes, and also the inter-modality that clearly will become the future for both freight and passenger transport. Even just analysing and planning transport needs is a highly complex process and Transport Malta is working closely and intensely both with JASPERS (Joint Assistance to Support Projects in European Regions) as well as specially contracted experts from Spain and Italy (INECO-Systematica Consortium) to support the local team.

The National Transport Model

For these purposes, a National Transport Model (NTM) will be constructed to inform policy and provide an integrated transport analysis. The model will be an update of the TRIPS transport model last developed by Malta in late 1980’s and early 1990’s when formulating the Structure Plan (1992) and which is now obsolete. The new model will be used for the testing and appraisal of transport scenarios and provision of transport forecasts which will be used to refine the NTS and develop the TMP for Malta. The model will assist Transport Malta’s work by producing outputs for more detailed local or project models as input into the engineering design process, economic and financial analysis, environmental assessment, and for monitoring of current and future projects.

Existing Conditions Analysis

Transport Malta has prepared an analysis of the existing conditions and available data to holistically and objectively represent the current status of transport in Malta. Part of this process is the development of a base year model, which for transport has been pegged as 2014. The TMP is calibrated to actual observed data for 2014 and therefore the theoretical model can be ensured to be representative of actual passenger and freight movements in the base year.

Clearly transport in Malta is a critical issue, with Malta ranking in the top three of the indicators regarding mobility, pollution and the potential for improvement as reported in a 2013 attitude survey by Eurobarometer. The report notes that the use of public or alternative, non-motorised forms of transport in Malta is relatively weak.

The existing conditions and data analysis scientifically documents the transport system in Malta to extract objective information about transport conditions that the Government will seek to address in the TMP.

Forecasting

The use of the national transport model, developed as part of this project, enables Transport Malta to look at future trends and scenarios to better advise Government as to options relating to transport policy and investment that would support the transport needs of the islands in the short, medium and long term.

The transport model simulates two main years - 2020 and 2025 and compares the effect of a number of scenarios that could envisage for these years. The model also enables a long term trend based look at the year 2050 to enable visualisation of the "do nothing" and "do minimum" scenarios, enabling a clear understanding of what transport effects would be if no further changes are made to the supply or demand for transport.

Public Consultation

In June and July 2016, Transport Malta carried out a public consultation on the “National Transport Master Plan - Objectives and Measures” (click here for consultation microsite including feedback).

Each measure and comment received during the Public Consultation has been analysed and where appropriate the Transport Master Plan was amended to take the feedback on board.

Strategic Environmental Assessment

Following the preparation of the Environmental Report and the Appropriate Assessment, these were submitted to the official stakeholders and public for consultation between October and November 2016.

Where the stakeholder consultation identified that the Transport Master Plan needed to take further environmental protection actions, the document was updated to include these amendments.

The steps in the SEA process for the National Transport Strategy and Transport Master Plan are as follows:

Financing

The financing frameworks required to be able to achieve the desired results have also been determined and the expected outcome of measures in the Transport Master Plan have been calibrated against the targets established in the National Transport Strategy.

These have all been documented in the Transport Master Plan.

Funding

The development of the National Transport Model is supported by EU funding under ERDF Operational Programme I 2007-2013 - Priority Axis 7, Investing in Competitiveness for a Better Quality of Life. Priority Axis 7 aims to facilitate the overall implementation of OP1 and to reinforce the administrative capacity of the public administrations concerned.

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