Client: VISET Malta plc
Start / Finish Dates: November 2004 – June 2005
The project aims at providing a convenient, pollution free, rapid transport link between the Park & Ride in Floriana, the Sea Passenger Terminal and Valletta, and in doing so re-creating an easy and attractive vertical link between Valletta / Floriana and the Grand Harbour waterfront.
The cable car aims to operate in concert with the Park & Ride and the Barrakka Lift and thereby ensuring that the travel needs of the public and tourists accessing Valletta are well-served. It has been sited to provide a long-term potential to link Valletta and its waterfront to other locations on the island. Estimates of demand prepared for the cable car indicate that there will be ample business for each component.
The cable car comprises three stations:
- At the “La Galdiana” fortifications on the Crowned Hornworks on the outskirts of Floriana (Park & Ride);
- In Valletta within the car park between the Malta Stock Exchange (Garrison Church) and Castille Square; and
- Midway at the Sea Passenger Terminal.
The ropeway, which is supported by five pylons, will have 34 gondolas, each seating 6 passengers. It is capable of transporting more than 1,000 passengers per hour in each direction over a 6 ¼ minute ride from the Park & Ride to Valletta; one gondola will arrive at Valletta every 20 seconds, 18 hours a day, every day of the year.
The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) prepared by Adi Associates showed that the cable car will bring a number of substantial fiscal and social benefits including facilitating the provision of cross harbour ferry services, and the creation of a facility that could become a tourist attraction. It will provide a unique perspective of the fortifications and encourage the establishment and use of a heritage trail through Floriana. It will also reduce the number and effects of tourist buses transporting passengers to Valletta City Gate, and will promote the economic viability of the Park & Ride by increasing patronage during those periods when it is not used by commuters.
The EIS further showed that the physical impact of the cable car on the cultural heritage will be contained and limited to minor interventions, the impact of which is minor or not significant and largely reversible. Impacts of noise, light and vibration with the exception of minor short term construction noise will not be significant. With respect to the cultural landscape, the EIS concluded that the impact of the insertion of the cable car will be neutral.
Keywords: cable car, Environmental Impact Assessment, Land and Visual Amenity Assessment, Grand Harbour