A study for a four-lane motorway between Evrychou and Astromeritis has been handed over to the public works department in a bid to get the project started that is designed to ease traffic congestion in the area, reports said Thursday.
The road, which has been in the works for 50 years, will be a 12.9 km stretch of highway costing €70 million, and is expected to be completed by 2023, once it is licensed.
Another stretch of motorway from Akaki to Astromeritis is scheduled to begin as soon as the first 12.9 km is completed.
The Akaki-Astromeritis motorway is planned to stretch 19 km and finish by 2026. It will cost approximately €130 million in total including a roundabout.
The government has been pushing for this plan as 41,000 cars are estimated to travel on the road every day. They believe it will increase safety on the roads in the rural Nicosia area and better connect the villages of that area to the capital.
The motorway is planned as an extension of the Nicosia-Kokkinotrimithia-Astromeritis road. A roundabout is in the plans for the end of the motorway close to Evrychou.
In the environmental studies, part of the road is planned to cut through a protected Natura 2000 area in ‘Atsa- Ayios Theodoros’.
However, since the political decision for the road’s construction was made, the government is planning to promote it as a public interest project to better the quality of life, despite cutting through the Natura area.
A public works letter in 2019 said there was no need to examine alternative scenarios, as the decision for the motorway’s construction has been made.
The police said on Tuesday it will modify a decree currently in force banning certain types of motorcycles from the roads during the holiday season, relaxing the previous restrictions.
The decision came after a lengthy meeting between the police chief and representatives of the Cyprus Motorcycle Federation (CMF) and owners of motorcycle rental businesses.
The revised decree eases the restrictions in force since August 13 and valid until August 30 – but the CMF came out of the meeting unsatisfied, saying the regulations still discriminate among drivers and fail to address the problem of noise nuisance on the roads.
Speaking to the media later, CMF representative Athos Efstathiou said they still disagree with the revised decree as it continues to impose double standards.
“Sadly the police don’t realise the problem of deprivation of liberty and discrimination…” he said.
“Separating users of the road grid into good and bad drivers, according to the vehicle and its type, is a major mistake that can only cause problems.”
Efstathiou said bikers would be consulting their lawyers on the possibility of challenging the decree in the courts, on the grounds of discrimination.
He argued that because current laws contain loopholes, and the police are unable to properly enforce measures to combat noise nuisance, authorities are trying to paper over the problem with sweeping decrees.
A representative for the association of rental motorcycles said they were exempt on the grounds that the restrictions would have decimated their business, already hit hard by the slump in tourist rentals, owing to the coronavirus situation.
Under the amended decree, the restrictions on the movement on motorcycles and quadbikes over 125cc now apply only on August 22, 23, 29 and 30, for the same roads designated in the initial decree.
The time slot for the restrictions has also been reduced, and made uniform across the cities – from 1am to 4am on the designated days.
Now also exempt from the restrictions are rental motorcycles; previously food delivery bikes had been exempt, and they continue to be.
The initial decree had banned the movement in Nicosia for 125cc motorbikes on August 16, 23 and 30 between midnight and 5am from Griva Digeni Avenue from the junction with Archangelos Avenue and Ayios Prokopios street up to junction with Themistoklis Dervis street and on Prodromou Avenue, from its junction with the Red Cross up to its junction with Grivas Digenis Avenue.
In Limassol, the initial ban concerned the coastal road that includes the Spyrou Araouzou, October 28th, Promachonas Eleftherias, Georgiou A and Amathountos streets, on August 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29 and 30 between 7pm and 4am.
For Paphos, the ban initially related to Poseidonos Avenue between 8pm and 4am on August 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29 and 30.
For the Famagusta district, the decree originally banned movement between 8pm and 4am from Protaras road – the road where the hotels are located – and from the Nissi and Archbishop Makarios Avenue in Ayia Napa.
Traffic violations are set to become steeper and tougher starting October 1, after deputies voted on Friday a set of bills into law and approved regulations aimed at tackling irresponsible driving.
With an overwhelming majority, plenum voted in favour with two against, the laws and regulations aiming for road safety and a decrease in Cyprus’ high number of road deaths and serious injuries.
Based on the new rules, driving without a seatbelt or while using their mobile phone, the fine is €150 the first time around. Repeat offenders within a three-year period will see the fine doubled.
Driving without a helmet carries a €200 fine which shoots up to €400 if someone is caught again in the space of three years after their first fine.
Someone speeding is fined €1 for every km/h they are going above the speed limit up to 30 per cent of the speed limit. If the speed limit is exceeded between 31 and 50 per cent, the fine is €2 per exceeded km/h and for 51 to 75 per cent of the speed limit, the fine is €3 per exceeded km/h.
An individual drunk driving and speeding up to 75 per cent of the speed limit with their alcohol level up to 70μg/100ml can be issued two separate fines.
Overtaking where it is not permitted carries a €150 fine. The number is increased to €200 if someone overtakes on a pedestrian crossing.
Parking at a disabled parking is fined at €300
Fleeing a scene after an accident without offering help will constitute an offence which will carry a sentence.