The culture of using the subways in Malta is not that popular, despite our busy traffic. TVM carried out an exercise in which it observed the use of subways in seven different areas. Many were ready to risk their lives instead of using subways. A TVM camera crew went down to the subways and found that the majority of them were clean but that they also have several shortcomings which could easily be fixed with a bit of maintenance.
In the 15 minutes the crew was there we counted 40 people who crossed from the side of the University to Msida or vice-versa, dashing in between the cars which were passing from the skatepark area. Some of them were distracted on their mobile, others were wearing headphones, posing a risk to themselves as well as to drivers.
These people are risking their lives, crossing four traffic lanes during rush hour just a few steps away from a subway which can easily take them from one side to the other without any risks.
In our walk through the subway under the skate park, we found it to be clean but requiring some maintenance. In one of the passageways, only one out of four lightbulbs works. Other items such as mirrors are broken.
Further up from the bypass, closer towards Mater Dei, there is another subway which is well-lit.
In the short time we spent near this subway, we once again observed that pedestrians were not using it, despite clear signs pointing in the direction of the subway. Although it was already dark, they preferred to cross the four lanes of traffic zigzagging between the vehicles, many of which were driving at the speed limit of 60 kms per hour.
Further up at the Birkirkara bypass, there is another subway which is lit and accessible by ramps. This subway links another area of Birkirkara to Mater Dei hospital and vice-versa.
One of the most used subways in Malta is the one near Portes des Bombes in Floriana which is also equipped with CCTV cameras.
Pedestrians who often use this subway said that although in general, it is kept clean, it is still crying out for a good renovation because its appearance seems to have been stuck in a time warp.
The passageway under St Anne’s street in Floriana is darker and needs a lot of maintenance.
Under the Santa Venera bypass, there is a subway which gives access on foot between Qormi and the Santa Venera and Hamrun bypass. We found that within a few steps it is in a bad state. In some parts, the ceiling is falling apart and there is a lack of light, too many steps, and no CCTV cameras. People who use this subway told TVM that when it rains it is almost impossible to pass from here because it gets flooded quickly.
Another subway is that which links Santa Lucia with Tarxien. Although we found it to be clean, we noted that the ceiling is leaking. This subway is also not accessible to those who have mobility problems, however, it is equipped with CCTV cameras.