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29.09.2008 Regional News

No permit for lorry station at El-Passo - TMA

By gna

The Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) on Monday said it would in no way grant the Biakoye Transport Company permit to run a lorry station at the El-Passo Park at Tema Community One, since that space was already choked.

Mr Kwaku Akpotosu, the Metropolitan Co-ordinating Director, said the Assembly had categorically refused the request for a permit from the transport company and that, if anything would be done, it would rather take further steps to decongest that park to protect commuters.

Mr Apkotosu was speaking to a section of the press who sought the Assembly's reaction to concerns raised by motorists, pedestrians and some banking institutions in the neighbourhood, on a proposed siting of a lorry station in the El-Passo Park at Community One in Tema.

Some pedestrians have expressed concern about the congestion in the park in the early morning hours and late afternoon, and the threat to life by vehicles in motion that pick passengers.

Additionally, some financial institutions in the neighbourhood - the Standard Chartered Bank and the Barclays Bank- have also expressed worry about the sitting of the station.

They explained that it posed problems of accessibility to and from the banks, noise from hawkers and as well as posed a security threat to customers of the banks.

Mr Hudson Opoku-Mensah, Tema Branch Manager of the Barclays Bank, said establishing the station would worsen the problem of accessibility to the banks in the morning.

“Getting access is so bad, so difficult, because of how these drivers behave. My stress begins when I'm about to enter the yard in the morning and worsens when I'm about to get out of the office in the evening.

“Siting a lorry station here is a security risk to both the customers and the bank workers, especially those who run late night shifts.

“We think if the area is actually going to be converted into a lorry station, that would rather increase the indiscipline,” Mr Opoku-Mensah said.

Mr Opoku-Mensah said accessibility was a great worry to the banks.

“What we want to do is to engage the authorities on how best we can get easy access for customers in this part of the metropolis.

“The authorities must decongest the area and locate the drivers at another place.”

However, Mr Prince Larbi, Chairman of the Biakoye Transport Company Union, said application of permit to establish the proposed station was to bring sanity into the activities of drivers in that area.

He said the station when approved would run 24 hours.

“Right now the loading is illegal, and we hope to legalise it, and make it more attractive,” Mr Larbi said, adding that there was a similar station which was legal at Kinbu in Accra.

He said the Union, which operated from kiosks, had to move to a more secured and permanent place after it suffered theft at the main station, which was some distance away from the present new office in the El-Paso yard.

Mr Larbi said the service was a public service and therefore no one could prevent the “boys” who loaded the vehicles from operating.

He said the Union was in negotiations with the “boys” to inject sanity into their activities and stem the tide of criminal activities at the park.