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05.08.2005 Press Review

Editorial: AMA/Accra Police What's Happening to Accra Traffic?


Really, it's becoming ever more frustrating and extremely stressful to drive in Accra. Ghana's national capital is by world standards not a mega city. A Cairo it is not; a Lagos it is not; a London or New York it is not! So what is it?

Accra is a city of 2.5 or so million people under the management of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA). The AMA is further sub-divided into Sub-Metros.

The city is also Ghana's commercial, administrative and industrial centre, and so the headquarters of almost all state institutions are located there.

The Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU), a branch of Ghana Police Service, which is in charge of enforcing the laws on traffic and transport use, is also headquartered in Accra. But between AMA and MTTU, not much seems to be happening in the transport and traffic sectors.

Indiscipline is the order of the day, resulting in many needless smash-ups. Junctions and intersections are normally left untended, and commercial vehicles (tro-tros and taxis especially) wreak havoc on the city's roads.

It is only on the High Street near the AMA headquarters that we see a few traffic wardens directing traffic. Nowhere else in this sprawling conurbation do we see traffic wardens. The same applies to the police. Half a dozen or so of them would be seen here and there "checking papers" when they should rather be optimally deployed round the city checking all aspects of traffic use.

Sometimes, (Tesano Junction for example), several police personnel would be seen virtually loitering there, and after a time they just simply disappear, making that particular dangerous junction a free-for-all melee. This kind of inefficient deployment can be seen in other parts of the city.

The new Tetteh Quarshie Intersection is not having much effect on the Airport-Legon section because tro-tros and taxis have taken up part of the road just after the bridge to pick and drop passengers. The police and the AMA have so far not shown any interest in sorting out the mess that is being created there. So what's the point in infrastructure development? Honestly, the police and AMA are letting down our capital!