The GSD on Friday called for “an immediate solution” to traffic problems on Devil’s Tower Road that was fast turning Gibraltar into “Gridlock Rock”.
The Opposition was reacting after heavy northbound traffic at the start of the long weekend led to traffic chaos on Devil’s Tower Road, with vehicles queuing to enter the tunnel effectively blocking the road for anyone heading to the east side, the airport and Eroski, or to homes in the area.
The GSD said the Government had 12 years to consider alternative routes, intelligent road infrastructure, entry points into the tunnel and mitigation measures to alleviate build up at certain points.
Instead, in recent days there had been huge tail backs and segregation of the new road with hundreds of cones set out over kilometres, many of which had been damaged by drivers and were strewn about.
The GSD said the Government had “failed monumentally” to put an effective traffic management system into place and that since the tunnel opening, traffic congestion had “significantly deteriorated”.
“The Government have pleaded "teething issues" in its defence, but every possible measure should have been taken given the decade long preparation period to avoid the almost daily chaos on our roads,” the GSD said.
“People are rightly angry and fed up with a Government who have lost the ability to properly administer the affairs of our community.”
“The current arrangements forces airport drop offs, supermarket shoppers, residents and those seeking to spend time in Spain to queue together.”
“Where are the alternatives during high volume periods? Why has the Government not provided for traffic mitigation or contingencies? What the arrangements for emergency vehicles who need to navigate this new road?”
The GSD acknowledged there would always be issues with traffic volume and Spanish border checks which may impact on traffic flow.
But is said the Government has had 12 years to “plan, stress test and provide sophisticated and dynamic solutions” to the congestion witnessed since Kingsway opened.
"This Government is simply unable to manage traffic and transport effectively and with over a decade in the planning, they fail on every count to provide a viable solution to the daily traffic chaos on our streets,” said Elliott Phillips, the GSD’s shadow minister for environment and transport.
“I cannot believe that in the 21st century that the Government cannot implement a safe and state of the art technological solution to daily transport gridlock at the border and the surrounding area. Gibraltar can now be embarrassingly known to the world as ‘Gridlock Rock’ under this tired and out of touch administration.”
“Without an urgent significant rethink of alternatives as to how we operate this new road infrastructure, residents of Beach View and other developments, supermarket users, airport travellers and border commuters will face a summer of discontent not to mention the significant impact that exhaust fumes will have on the health of those working and living in the immediate area.”
“After £34 Million and 15 years in the making there can be no excuse for the abject failure of transport and traffic policy and we call on the Government to take urgent steps towards an immediate solution before another traffic disaster is recorded on the GSLP’s tombstone."