In 2007 Valletta launched a Controlled Vehicular Access (CVA) system that was widely considered the next evolutionary step from the London congestion charge. Before its introduction only 32 000 drivers with Vignette licences could access the Maltese capital. With the CVA any vehicle can enter under a ‘pay-as-you-go’ system. The project aimed to provide easier access to the city, reduce congestion and utilise parking spots better. Eight years since its introduction no other city, other than London, has introduced a similar system.
The Republic of Malta consists of several islands in the Mediterranean Sea. One of these is Malta, with Valletta as its capital. Valletta is 0.8 km2 - the smallest capital in the EU. Statistics show a dramatic increase in the number of vehicles in Malta registered between 1990 and 2003. In 2014 there were over 335 000 licensed motor vehicles, more cars per capita than most industrialised countries. Valletta has average traffic delays of 17 seconds per km – significantly higher than the European average of 5.7 seconds. Traffic delays, lack of accessibility, inadequate parking infrastructure and congestion were among Valletta’s mobility problems.
Prior to the CVA’s introduction, access to the inner-city was restricted except for drivers that paid € 46 a year for a Vignette displayed on the vehicle. Other vehicles were prohibited from entering.
Incentivise better use of parking places;
Improve the quality of life of residents;
Improve the general environment;
Promote business in Valletta.
Before the CVA system was introduced only around 32 000 unique vehicles with a Vignette license could enter Valletta . By 2013 more than 325 720 unique vehicles had entered Valletta, accounting for the majority of Maltese registered vehicle users. The system therefore proves to have a positive impact on accessibility.
Residents also benefited. Upon introducing the CVA system the Valletta local council also launched a parking bay scheme with 141 green and 493 blue bays in which residents could park for 24 hours and 7pm-7am, respectively – a scheme that did not exist before. Until now, impacts on the quality of life of residents and the general environment have not been properly assessed.