THE government is considering improvements to the current Paphos to Polis road now that the construction of a new four-lane highway has stalled due to a lack of funds.
Original plans for the four-lane highway date back to 2000 and had long been a demand of locals because of heavy traffic, dangerous bends and road accidents on the existing two-lane highway. It would also cut travel time between Paphos and Polis.
However, critics consistently raised concerns as to the sensibility of the project which came with a huge price tag arguing it would cut travel time between the two towns by only eight minutes.
Last year, the government announced that the road would not be built but have now agreed that improvements to the existing road were necessary to modernise it and increase safety.
Mayor of Polis Chrysochous, Giotis Papachristofi, told the Cyprus Mail that the government has a current budget of 3.4 million euros which may be used to widen the current road in two places, making these parts into three lanes. He added that a number of dangerous corners would be also be ‘cut’ to improve visibility.
However, although the mayor welcomed the news, he stressed that the plans do not go far enough and the construction of the original four lane road was imperative.
“We will push for a new road, this is what we all want. We need a new road and with four lanes as has been planned. The current road is dangerous, of poor quality and cuts us off from the rest of the island,” he said.
Papchristofi said that a new road would help ‘open up’ the area, making travel between Paphos town and the airport much easier and helping to increase visitor numbers to the district. He said that everyone has the right to a good quality road and that as others have been built across the island, Polis should be allowed theirs too, as they also pay their taxes.
He added that in the coming weeks he and district community leaders wouldl meet with President Nicos Anastasiades in Nicosia to discuss the possibility of at least commencing the first stage of the original proposed four lane highway, as soon as possible.
“This entire project will cost about 200 million euros, if they (the government) don’t have that, at least they could start the first piece of it which will connect Paphos to the Kathikas- Arodes area.”