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18.10.2005 General News

Total road network has improved - Anane

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Accra, Oct. 18, GNA - The total national road network mix has improved significantly following systematic interventions by government to make the road sector play a major role in development. Briefing journalists at the Meet The Press Series in Accra on Tuesday, Dr Richard Anane, Minister of Road Transport said the national road mix had improved significantly with the investment of 10 trillion cedis in the road transport sector in the last three years.

Consequently, the national road mix has improved from 27 per cent good, 17 per cent fair and 56 per cent poor in 2001 to 40 per cent good, 31 per cent fair and 29 per cent poor as at the end of 2004.

In 2002, the state of good roads were 30 per cent, total fair roads were 21 per cent while those in complete poor state were 21 per cent. In 2003 total roads described as good went up slightly to 34 per cent while those in the fair category was 26 per cent and 40 per cent for poor. He explained that government was working to further improve the state of roads in the country, especially areas with heavy concentration of people that required specialized engineering designs.

"Based on current activities, the government would, in the next one-and-a-half years add 500 kilometres more of tarred roads to the current stretch throughout the country."

Dr Anane said a number of additions had been made to the Tetteh-Quarshie-Adenta, Circle-Ofankor and Mallam-Yamoransa stretches. He noted that convenient designated bus stops, an underground passage at Legon and two interchanges at Legon and the Atomic Junction would be built.

Dr Anane said the development of the road infrastructure had resulted in the direct employment of 83,500 people, while providing about 20,000 indirect jobs for people in the catchment areas. He noted that an impact studies on the road improvement on agriculture also showed remarkable increase of between 20 and 40 per cent in land development for agricultural activities. There has also been an average fall from 10 per cent to five per cent in post-harvest losses for crops and an appreciable modal shift from head loading to the use of motorized and other intermediate means of transport.

On the Metro Mass Transit (MMT) bus service, Dr Anane said Ghanaians were steadily getting used to it and expressed the hope that reason would prevail in government's plan to create a reliable and efficient commuter system.

The MMT currently has a fleet of 524 buses made up of Yaxing, DAF and IVECO buses. This is expected to rise to 1,074 by the end of 2006. The MMT is estimated to be carrying 3.3 million passengers on its routes all over the country.

Dr Ananae said the Intercity STC carries 135,000 passengers a month on domestic routes and 6,000 passengers a month on the international routes to Benin, Togo, La Cote d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso.