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12.02.2005 General News

Plan to reduce traffic jams in cities

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Accra, GNA - A draft document on the improvement of roads and traffic congestion in major cities in the country has fashioned an arterial plan for road improvement and efficient traffic management for the Accra District Metropolitan Area, Koforidua, Sekondi-Takoradi and the Cape Coast Municipalities.

Codenamed, Urban Transport Planning project, the document, which is currently at its final stage has also lauded the move by the Accra Metropolitan Authority (AMA) to clear the streets of hawkers saying, it considered it as a major step for a successful implementation plan.

Mr. David Ingham, leader of the project said, "the recommendations, which were arrived at after taking inventory of roads and traffic layouts in the above mentioned areas to rid the streets of hawkers, clearly supports AMA's recent action because it forms a very important aspect in the implementation process. "We have to encourage the AMA to continue the exercise in order to move the hawkers from the roads and walkways and allow the right users to use the roads.

"Enforcement of stopping/loading vehicles to prevent lane blockage is also another critical area to look at," Mr Ingham said. He said the extensive use of taxis and "tro tro" as means of transport in the cities continued to lead to low occupancy of buses.

"The current situation is serious leading to inefficient usage of our roads because we are using the wrong types of vehicles," he said. The study, according to him indicated that high level of enforcement for the exclusive use of buses' lanes was critical to the success of the mass transport programme.

Mr Ingham said there was the need to improve operational efficiency by reducing congestion and travel time on core routes and facilitate modal shift towards more efficient transport. He said there would a significant increase in traffic volumes in the next eight to 15 years and if measurers were not take to address the situation, "our roads would become more congested because of the growth in population and economic activities. "If we can't increase the capacity of the roads then we have to look at alternative roads. "The concept of the plan was to provide for traffic to move from one area to another freely," he said.

Mr Alex Twumasi Boakye, Director of the Department of the Urban Roads said the project when implemented would see the conversion of most roads to more carriage lanes. He said the study would provide for an urban transport policy framework, which would include an institutional framework, a public transport and a traffic management programmes.

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