The policy of building more roads to keep up with the ever-increasing number of cars has been tried but has failed, the Nicosia mayor said on Wednesday.

Speaking at an event to mark European Mobility Week, Constantinos Yiorkadjis stressed the need to find viable alternatives so congestion can be cut.

The scale of the problem was clearly stated by environment commissioner Maria Panayiotou, who said that only three per cent of the population use public transport.

Yiorkadjis emphasised that alternatives exist but must be improved and expanded upon, such as completing the bus lane network and the expansion of the cycle lane network.

He also said that a tram system could be thrown into the mix, although previous discussions on the topic have led nowhere – with many saying the project is too ambitious or not economically viable.

The mayor said that the municipality is well aware that urban mobility is one of the main challenges burdening European cities as it is directly linked to their economic development and reducing their environmental impact.

He said that over the past decade the municipality has completed major projects in that direction, referencing the pedestrian networks and upgrades through the Eleftheria Square, Makariou-Stasikratous, Kallipoleos and other public works.

He added that cycle lanes connecting the universities to the city centre are also significant.