BY YESMAN ANTOH, NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS- THE BUREAU of Public Safety (BPS) has called on the Ministry of Transport in Ghana to immediately fence the Accra-Tema Motorway to prevent over 45 unapproved access roads linking that stretch to avert any danger.
According to BPS, until that is done, the Accra-Tema Motorway will continue to lose its essence of being called a motorway.
In a research released today by BPS on the risk assessment on the Kwame Nkrumah Motorway, the Research and Advocacy Director, Mr. Etornam Korda said following several complaints from individuals since 2017 about the Accra-Tema Motorway, “we commissioned a project to verify and ascertain the status quo independently.”
Mr. Korda said in order for BPS to ascertain the real picture of the situation, “we undertook survey activities of motorists and other road users of the motorway and also conducted a risk assessment on the use of the motorway and advised all stakeholder.”
He said the exercise was conducted between January 20 and March 31, 2019, and found out certain disturbing trends on the motorway.
The Director said the 19 kilometers stretch is laced with 45 unauthorized U-turns out of which some 24 have a semblance of blockade while another 21 U-turns have been effectively created and frequently used by cars, mini buses (trotros), tricycles and motorcycles and that the danger this phenomenon creates for other road users should not be overlooked.
“We further counted 236 footpaths laced across the median of which many of them occurring at areas with established settlements within the buffer zone. This high number places pedestrian crossings on the motorway at an average of 12 crosses per every kilometer, thereby effectively defeating the continuous classification of this route as a motorway/freeway,” the research stated.
BPS research identified 28 access points on the Tema to Accra stretch, six out of which access points were either restricted or completely blocked out.
The research also find out that the Accra to Tema carriageway had 23 access points with four of them either blocked out or restricted, description on the route is generally poor, and in some cases completely nonexistent. This, according to BPS impacts negatively on driver performance under rainy, foggy, nightly and other poor visibility weather conditions.
“While we observed most commercial drivers literally soliciting for passengers as they ply the 100km/hour limit route, we discovered 14 major stop/pick up points along both sides of the dual carriageway. This practice causes abrupt obstructions with a high potential of causing multiple traffic crashes with its attendant fatal consequences,” it stated.
It further stated that slow moving traffic had become the norm as most heavy-duty trucks and trailers, tricycles and other slow moving cars take to the speed lane thereby forcing able cars to undertake them. The hazard posed to the vehicle obstructing traffic flow, the other (vehicles) undertaking and unsuspecting other pedestrian cannot be overemphasized.
“Furthermore, some vehicles (especially cars, tricycles and motorcycles) travel counter-traffic for distances between 100 to 300 meters to, negotiate U-tums or exit the motorway,” this practice poses great danger for oncoming traffic especially at night.”
“For the period of our survey and risk assessment we did not observe any consistent active effort of law enforcement with respect to traffic regulations, except in isolated cases of broken down vehicles and road crashes where the police intervened to control traffic flow.”
The Kwame Nkrumah Motorway (Accra Tema Motorway) was opened to traffic in November 1965.
According to Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, the weighted Average Annual Daily Traffic volume recorded in 2008 on the road was 65,200 vehicles per day, comprising 16% of vehicles in the medium and heavy groups. It is estimated that more than 20,000 vehicles used unapproved routes to join the motorway on daily basis.
BY YESMAN ANTOH, NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS, BUSINESS & POLITICAL, AFRICA CORRESPONDENT