Gridlock in Accra …drivers, commuters experience awful yuletide traffic gridlock

Just like previous years, the traffic situation in the country’s capital, Accra, ahead of the yuletide continues to heighten making both drivers and commuters distressed.

Drivers and commuters suffer awfulgridlocks on major roads such as Accra Central using the Graphic Road; the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital through the Abossey Okai road; Circle and beyond; and heading towards Kasoa through Odorkor, Sakaman and Weija.

Others are the Madina, Adentan, Amasaman, Tema, Nungua, 37 Military Hospital and the Airportroads, amongst others.

Since the beginning of this week, the Ghanaian Times has observed vehicle jams in the city was nothing to write home about as it could take one close to an hour and thirty minutes to move from Darkuman to Sakaman, heading towards Kasoa, a journey that used to take about 30 minutes.

The situation is worse travelling on the Mallam-Weija and Tuba road especially in the mornings and evenings.

Drivers and commuters who spoke with the GhanaianTimes called December the “Traffic Month” and attributed the gridlocks to heavy trading activities, following the movement of people to and from the city.

Mr Owusu Agyei, a driver at Accra Central blamed the relocation of people into the national capital, from across the country and abroad,ahead of the festivities as the cause of the traffic jams.

Mr Agyei indicated that the construction of interchanges had not been able to solve the problem,as an enormous number of people shuttled in the city.

A commercial driver who gave his name as Kojo Nsiah at Circle-Odawna said that the city became populated during festive seasons, adding that people also preferred using their cars than joining “trotros” and other public transports, thereby increasing the number of cars on the roads.

“For now, most people prefer using their own cars and this has increased the number of cars on the roads. People are also moving into the city from other regions and abroad for the festivities,” he said.

Adom Portia, who plies the Kasoa road said a lot of people now drive their own cars, hence, increasing the number of cars on the roads.

She said the absence of railway systems and efficient mass public transport services, forced everyone to use the road.

Ms Portia stressed that traffic during Christmas and the New Year season could not be stopped by interchanges and dualisation of roads, hence “government should look at other alternatives.”

Another “Trotro” driver at Madina who gave his name as Hussein said the experience was that after the interchanges had “eased the jam,” the vehicles piled up a few metres away from them.

He reiterated the need for the government to construct “more inner roads and identify more routes to give drivers alternatives when using the roads.”

Selina Osei, a commuter at Kaneshie, for her part emphasised that people taking over some parts of the roads and the interchanges for use as market centres and homes also caused the traffic, adding that “the city authorities should sternly ward off traders and miscreants who use some parts of the road as market centres and their homes.”

BY ABIGAIL ARTHUR

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