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23.02.2006 Regional News

Taxi drivers in Sunyani protest against new fares


Sunyani(B/A), Feb. 23, GNA - Taxi drivers in Sunyani Municipality on Thursday protested against new fares released by the Sunyani Municipal Assembly following the recent fuel price hike. They blocked roads in Sunyani and physically prevented their colleagues willing to operate, while some of the protesting drivers deflated tyres of colleagues who had picked passengers.

For about three hours in the morning, the angry protesting drivers refused to operate and many workers and commuters had to trek to their workplaces.

Most of them who reside in the suburbs and remote parts of the municipality reported late to work.

The angry drivers barricaded the main roads in the municipality at 0700 hours, hurled stones and other offensive materials at colleagues ready to operate.

They argued that the Assembly's new fares were incompatible with the increase in the prices of fuel. The timely intervention of the police led by Assistant Commissioner of Police and Brong Ahafo Regional Commander, Mr Kwaku Ayensu Opare-Ababio, prevented the situation from deteriorating into a nasty scene.

The police swiftly dismantled the barricades and prevailed on the protesting drivers to adopt a more humane and civil approach to the problem.

The irate drivers later marched to the main taxi branch office of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union and submitted copy of a petition addressed to the Municipal Chief Executive, registering their displeasure about the deplorable state of the various stations to Nana Bisi, Chairman of the branch.

The petition, signed by Nana Kusi Boadu, Chairman and Mr. Kwaku Agyei, Secretary of Sunyani Taxi Drivers Association condemned hiking of the assembly's ticket from 1,000 to 2,000 cedis and expressed dissatisfaction with the 100 cedis increase in taxi fares in Sunyani. It noted that the recent increase in fuel prices had affected prices of brake fluid, engine oil, oil filter, and other spare parts. The petition appealed to the assembly to allow drivers plying in Sunyani to charge 2,000 cedis instead of the approved fare of 1,800 cedis.

The previous approved fares to parts of the region including SSNIT flats, Estate, New Dormaa, Fiapre, Baakoniaba and Kassardjan was 1,700 cedis.

Receiving the petition, Nana Bisi advised the drivers to exercise restraint for the executives to meet the assembly to redress the issue. He appealed to the drivers to concentrate on their work and gave the assurance that by Monday, February 27, all their problems would be solved.

Meanwhile, approved fares for taxis plying from Sunyani to Nsoatre, Yamfo and Chiraa has been increased from 5,000 cedis to 5,500 cedis. The fare from Sunyani to Tanoso is now 3,500 cedis instead of 3,200 cedis, Sunyani to Yawsea is 6,100 cedis instead of 5,800 cedis and Sunyani to Atronie is 6,000 cedis from 5,500 cedis.

The new fare from Sunyani to Barracks and Kotokrom is 2,300 cedis from 2,200 cedis, Sunyani to Abesim is 2,400 cedis instead of 2,300 cedis, to Yawhimakrom is 2,800 cedis instead of 2,700 cedis. Sunyani to Odumase is 2,000 cedis instead of 1,900 cedis, Sunyani to Nwawasua is 3,700 cedis instead of 3,500 cedis, Sunyani to Techire is 5,800 cedis instead of 5,500 cedis and Sunyani to Afrisipakrom is 4,700 cedis instead of 4,500 cedis.

The fare from Sunyani to Tainso and Bofourkrom is 6,000 cedis, instead of 5,500 cedis and Sunyani to Buoko is 3,000 cedis instead of 2,700 cedis.