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Limassol municipality rejects criticism of its sustainable mobility policies

Limassol municipality on Wednesday defended a plan to create more parking spaces in a part of the city centre, saying it was not compromising sustainable mobility as suggested by the Technical Chamber Etek.

In an announcement, the municipality said it had already shown its support in its works for sustainable mobility and the statement from Etek “does not reflect the reality”.

It referred to “a tendency to misinform and attempt to create false impressions” as regards plans to create more parking spaces on Andreas Themistocleous Street by saying the move was contrary to the principles of sustainable urban mobility.

“We want to believe that the content of the announcement is the result of incomplete and non-objective information from Etek officials,” the municipality said.

No one from the chamber had approached the municipality to be informed about the thoughts, plans and possible actions the municipality was planning on sustainable mobility actions and policies.

The municipality said it fully supports the creation of Limassol’s Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan, a study that is expected to be completed in the next three months, and stated that this support was practical as the municipality was part of the Study Monitoring Committee.

“Through this involvement we have been given the opportunity to express our views and to put forward our suggestions regarding the various provisions and policies expected to emerge from the plan,” the announcement added.

Acknowledging however that different approaches may exist in some respects, it did not mean the municipality did not support the implementation of the measures and benefits that would arise from the plan.

“Limassol has already demonstrated with its projects that it fully supports sustainable mobility, indicating that all new road projects in the municipality are designed on the basis of sustainable mobility and on all co-financed projects and urban regeneration the same principles apply,” it added.

Regarding the Andreas Themistocleous parking, it said this was an area “that today serves to a large extent the needs of the city centre and it was the intention of the municipality to optimise the area, not to expand it or even to cut even one tree”. Also, no serious construction will be done that will change the area.

It said the current situation in the city centre, the re-opening of the municipal market and the attempt to attract permanent residents to the area, “require some temporary measures to help in this direction.”

“Any possible interventions will be temporary and certainly reversible so that when the Sustainable Mobility Plan is fully implemented, then this space can also be a key link in the sustainable transport chain,” the municipality said.

It added that it was not its intention to seek confrontation with any organised group, “especially with the Etek”, which is the scientific and technical adviser to the state.

“On the contrary what we seek is cooperation in solving the serious problems faced by cities and local authorities in general,” it added.

“In this context, it would be useful in the future, prior to the issue of announcements on important issues concerning our municipality, to have contacts with the competent officers or with the Mayor himself.”

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