Traffic congestion within the controlled zone of Valletta was dramatically reduced in the first four days of the Controlled Vehicular Access (CVA), The Sunday Times reported.
Figures seen by the newspaper show that around 400 parking spaces in the city were available at any time of day, particularly in areas such as Freedom Square and Palace Square where commuters used to park before CVA was introduced last Wednesday.
Last week, the Malta Transport Authority (ADT) reported a 60 per cent drop in car stays by non-residents of more than eight hours. However, a considerable increase of 34 per cent has been reported in cars not belonging to residents visiting the city for an hour or less.
An ADT spokesman told The Sunday Times that people are willing to pay a little for a visit in exchange for being saved the hassle of crawling around the city to find a parking space. Tariffs stand at 35c an hour
up to a maximum of Lm2.80 a day. The Lm2.80 fee a day deters employees from keeping up their old habits of leaving their cars all day in the inner city, the ADT spokesperson said.
"The benefit to the city is that, even with more cars coming in and out, they all drive less to find parking and there's still room for pedestrianised open spaces. This is because while up to a week ago a single parking space was used by one car alone that would stay there all day, today that same parking space is serving several cars that stay for less than an hour at a time," the spokesperson said.
Figures also show a drop of 22 per cent in the total number of individual cars visiting
Valletta every day for any length of time since the CVA was introduced.
The current average of cars entering
Valletta every weekday since Wednesday is 7,900 in contrast to the 10,000 cars entering previously under the V licence regime.
Updated statistics of cars staying overnight in
Valletta shows that around 2,000 of them belong to residents The latter are exempt from any payments under the CVA. That means that over 5,000 cars visit
Valletta every day from the outside even now that the CVA is introduced.
Meanwhile, a system of CVA vouchers is being introduced, allowing visitors to
Valletta to obtain prepaid vouchers that cover the CVA charge for a particular duration. Vouchers are available in two denominations corresponding to one full hour of charge (35c) and the maximum daily rate (Lm2.80).
The CVA voucher system has been introduced in conjunction with the various payment methods available (including online, telephone and traditional cheque payments) mainly to provide an easy means for businesses to provide their clients or employees with a number of prepaid vouchers that can be applied towards payment of their CVA charge.
Restaurant and shop owners can provide an hour or a whole day's free parking in
Valletta, depending on the amount of money customers have spent at their shops. Conference organisers and companies can also use the system to provide their delegates and employees with a particular amount of free parking time in
An electronic voucher facility, where vouchers can be bought and printed by customers online, will also be rolled out this month.
Vouchers can also be sent directly by SMS to a client's mobile phone, thus having additional peace of mind that the voucher itself will not be lost. Vouchers can be redeemed online or via mail by entering the unique voucher number and code present on each voucher.
CVA vouchers can be bought either by mail from CVA Technology Co. Ltd, 83, Triq Xatt l-Ghassara ta' l-Gheneb or online at www.cva.gov.mt.
Source: The Sunday Times