Cyprus Mail

Contested Limassol roadworks to go ahead this month

Demonstrators at a former protest over the street's development

The transport ministry announced on Friday that roadworks on the contested Despina and Nikos Pattichi street in Limassol would go ahead in August, albeit differently than what was originally planned.

The compromise was reached after several meetings Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos had with business owners of the area who had threatened to physically hinder any works to carry out the initial plans on creating a traffic island.

According to a ministry announcement, all parties involved agreed that a median was a good temporary solution. More parking spaces will also be created for business owners.

Citing police statistics, four lane roads without a traffic island such as Despina and Nikos Pattichi have 619 per cent more traffic accidents than four lane roads which have a traffic island, the ministry said.

“Road safety issues, congestion and problems with how functional (the road is) are observed throughout the day, for years,” the announcement said, while moves to solve the issues have also been going on for years.

The specific road has 206 potential conflict points and from 2009 to 2020, has been home to 704 road accidents. Two people have died as a result and 303 injured.

A total of 34,000 vehicles use the road on a daily basis.

The most common problem is drivers making an illegal right-turn and violating the continuous white line on the main axis of the road, the ministry said.

It went on to specify that the main purpose behind creating a traffic island between 40-60cm wide and 15cm tall was in fact to avoid illegal right-turns.

The clash between the ministry and business interests in the area lie in the argument the latter poses that by creating the island, this will adversely impact their business. Karousos has maintained that road safety is the priority.

As per the new plan, the median will span from the Kato Polemidia roundabout until the junction between Despina and Nikos Pattichi with Spyros Kyprianou avenue.

A right-turn will be permitted from Despina and Nikos Pattichi street towards the southern part of Walt Disney street.

Parking spaces will be created on the side of the street and the pedestrian crossing will have a higher road bump so as to force drivers to slow down.

A parking spot for 25 cars will be created south of the Ayias Fylaxeas roundabout, north of Walt Disney street.




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