Kwadaso MP calls for measures to address traffic congestion

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The Member of Parliament for Kwadaso, Kingsley Nyarko, has called on authorities and stakeholders in the road sector to find more effective ways to address the traffic challenges in the country.

Making a statement in Parliament on Monday, he said if nothing meaningfully was done to address the problem, “we would be creating an irreparable damage to our country with dire consequences on posterity.”

He mentioned that apart from traffic congestion negatively affecting the economy, “it also adversely affects the psychosocial well-being of road users by wasting their time, deteriorating their health, increasing their stress levels, delaying their travel time, disorienting their travel time plan, increasing their fuel consumption which also pollutes the air and atmosphere, weakening their vehicles (wear and tear) and reduction in road safety.”

He, nonetheless, commended past and present governments, especially the present New Patriotic Party government, for building interchanges to ease traffic congestion in some major cities of the country.

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“The major interchanges being built at Pokuase, Tema, Obetsebi Lamptey circle and Tamale by the President Akufo-Addo government will hugely ease the traffic congestion in those areas. It is my expectation that interchanges are built at Anloga junction, Suame roundabout and other parts of the Ashanti region to ease traffic congestion and open up the region for more socio-economic development,” he said.

Consequences

Dr Nyarko stated that traffic congestion can adversely affect the country if not timeously addressed.

“Mr Speaker, first is the impact of traffic congestion on society—According to Wang et al. (2009) (cited in Vencataya et al., 2018), the major external costs of transport are traffic congestion and road accidents which oblige transport policy-makers to aim at ameliorating their impacts on society. Their results revealed that traffic congestion affects peoples’ lives as they must leave their homes very early in the morning and reach home very late in the evening in order to avoid traffic,” he said.

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He added that several studies have established a strong relationship between transportation and productivity in that a well-established transportation system promotes economic development.

“Mr Speaker, third is the impact of traffic congestion on the person/individual—A plethora of literature has shown that traffic congestion contributes to the aggravation of environmental conditions, including air pollution. Some researchers (e.g., Chakrabartty & Gupta, 2014; Elisonguo, 2013) have claimed that vehicular exhalations, triggered by traffic congestion, are the main causes of air pollution. The results also revealed that accidents put the lives of commuters in peril. Again, commuters suffering from asthma or other respiratory illnesses are more likely to be predisposed to other risky diseases emanating from vehicular exhalations due to traffic congestions,” he explained.

Solutions

According to him, in order to avoid the negative consequences of traffic congestion in the country, well planned interventions based on evidence need to be put in place.

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“One of the key recommendations to avoid traffic congestions in our country, particularly urban centres is the use of effective public transport system (with a dedicated lane) which can serve as means of transport for workers to avoid the use of personal vehicles to and from work every day,” he disclosed.

Dr Nyarko also called for an intensified education on the dangers of indiscipline, impatience and lawlessness on Ghana’s roads leading to traffic congestion.

He charged relevant state institutions such as National Centre for Civic Education (NCCE), Motor Transport and Traffic Directorate (MTTD) and National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) to do more in educating the citizenry and road users to be mindful of their safety on the road and the consequences of their actions on other road users.

 

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