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Private cars will not be allowed on Makarios Ave after October 20

ΛΕΩΦΟΡΟΣ ΜΑΚΑΡΙΟΥ
Makarios Ave before cars were allowed on it

Only public transport, delivery vehicles, emergency vehicles, and shop owners and residents will be able to drive down Makarios Avenue in Nicosia as of October 20, as had been the original idea for the street.

The move was welcomed by the Cyprus Scientific and Technical Chamber (Etek) on Friday.

The chamber said that this had always been their position for the road since the completion of the project in November 2021.

The street has undergone a revamp in recent years, along with other areas in the centre of the capital.

“It is a big step to imitate other European countries which, with the regeneration of the urban centres of the cities, limit the use of the private cars through the promotion of activities and in particular the encouragement of walking, cycling, and the use of public transport public transport,” head of Etek Constantinos Constanti said.

“We hope that this decision will set an example for other cities and will be the beginning for our city centres to upgrade the quality of life for all of us in an environment free from exhaust fumes,” he added.

After being partially closed for months, there was disagreement last year on what vehicles would be able to use the avenue when it finally reopened. The road was opened on December 7 last year although it was closed to traffic over the festive period.

The audit service had said that changes to the plans could lead to the withdrawal of €13m of government funds allocated for the redevelopment project.

Audit service spokesperson Marios Petrides said the funds for the project were allocated “under specific conditions” and that a change in the plans would violate the agreement.

Nicosia mayor Constantinos Yiorkadjis then said the decision to allow private vehicles on Makarios Avenue would only be allowed for about a year while all redevelopment works in the area were completed.

He said allowing private cars on the road did not constitute a change to the original plan, as suggested by the audit service, since it concerns regulations that will only apply once the works on the commercial triangle are completed.

The redevelopment of the entire area was designed to promote sustainable mobility on one of the capital’s busiest roads. “I can assure that, even after allowing private cars on Makarios Avenue, our goals of making the area greener will be met,” Yiorkadjis said at the time.

 

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