By Evie Andreou
NICOSIA will have a complete facelift by 2020 as regards mobility infrastructure, state officials and the town’s mayor Constantinos Yiorkadjis said on Friday.
The Nicosia Integrated Mobility Master Plan (IMMP) was discussed during a meeting between Yiorkadjis, and the transport and finance ministers Marios Demetriades and Harris Georgiades.
Projects, which include the construction of bus and bicycle lanes, the pedestrianisation of roads, and the introduction of minibuses for the old town, are expected to be completed by 2020.
“When all of these projects are completed, we will be talking about a completely different Nicosia,” Demetriades said.
He said that at the meeting they were also presented with the project for the tram, but that no decision has been taken yet as “we are very far form taking any decisions whether to go ahead or not”.
As regards the upgrading of public transport infrastructure, Demetriades said that his ministry works constantly to deliver the announced projects.
The contract to introduce the telematics system on buses was awarded, he said, but that at the moment his ministry is in anticipation of the tenders review authority. Regarding the plans for the facelift of bus stops, he said that some have already been done, while an infrastructure upgrade programme is being implemented.
“We believe in public transport and it is up to us to make it attractive for the public,” he said.
The projects included in the mobility master plan have already been approved, Yiorkadjis said, and it has already begun to take shape.
He said that the one-way system is to be introduced on Makarios and Kallipoleos avenues, and that bus and bicycle lanes are to be built, as well as additional pavements both in main streets and city neighbourhoods.
The municipality has already received 13 minibuses for transportation within the old town, and soon, a tender competition will be announced for a contractor to run them, he said.
Yiorkadjis said that the Engomi municipality has also announced the competition for the construction of bicycle lanes that will connect the capital’s four universities with the city centre.
The IMMP is a prerequisite for the revitalisation of the urban centre, Yiorkadjis said, while public transport should also become more reliable.
The aim, he said, is for all the projects to have been completed by 2020.