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Cyprus

No traffic through Eleftheria Square, city council decides

Eleftheria square (Christos Theodorides)

Nicosia’s municipal council on Thursday voted to ban vehicles from using Eleftheria Square.

The decision was passed by majority. There was one vote against and one abstention.

Under the decision, no vehicles are to pass through the square, except in emergency situations such as for ambulances and fire trucks.

The matter of heavy vehicles was not discussed.

The citizens’ group ‘No Cars in Eleftheria Square’ packed into the city council meeting to make their case with placards saying: ‘It’s a square, not a road’, ‘Listen to the citizens and not special interests’ and ’12 years and 30 million and after you give us another road’.

Regarding whether traffic will be allowed on Kostakis Pantelidis Street, the matter will be examined shortly by the traffic management committee.

The long-awaited new square is due to be opened by the end of the year, putting an end to years of traffic problems in the city with the closure of roads in and around the area.

The mayor has long tried to get the public to use public transport more frequently. For the past year, a mini-bus service has been operating in and around the old town. In September the mayor called on residents to make more use of these small buses, saying they were a vital means to combat traffic congestion in the city.

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