Dr Kingsley Nyarko, Member of Parliament (MP) for Kwadaso, has expressed grave concern over the growing traffic congestion on roads in the country’s major cities.
He said the increasing congestion was not only negatively affecting economic productivity but also inducing the stress levels of most Ghanaians and thereby affecting their health.
It is also affecting the psychological well-being of road users by wasting their time, delaying and disorienting their travel time plan, increasing fuel consumption, which also pollutes the air and atmosphere, weakening their vehicles and affecting road safety measures.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Kumasi, he said traffic congestion was becoming a major issue in the cities and urban areas where commercial activities were concentrated.
There was, therefore, the need for effective strategy and pragmatic measures to address the issue since it could cause irreparable damage to the country’s economy with dire consequences on posterity.
Dr Nyarko said the bad attitude of drivers, traders, pedestrians, and poor road designs were the main causes of traffic congestion on the country’s major road.
Dr Nyarko commended President Akufo-Addo for putting in efforts to build some interchanges as part of measures to ease traffic congestion in some major cities in the country.
He mentioned the Pokuase, Tema, Obetsebi Lamptey circle, and Tamale interchanges and said these would hugely ease the traffic congestion in those areas.
Dr Nyarko said due to the ongoing road construction on the Tanoso-Abuakwa road in the Kwadaso constituency, there was always severe traffic congestion from Apatrapa Junction through Tanoso to Abuakwa which had necessitated and encouraged petty trading on the road.
He said the trading activities which mostly involved teenagers and women put their lives in danger because they were prone to consequences of traffic congestion such as accidents, diseases, and deaths.
Dr Nyarko added that if traders could not be prevented from selling on the roadside then “we should find dedicated points on our roads where vehicles can conveniently park and buy items”.
He appealed to the government to expedite action on the construction of interchanges at Anloga junction, Suame roundabout, and other parts of the Kumasi metropolitan area to ease traffic congestion and open up the city for more investments and socio-economic development.
Dr Nyarko stressed the need for increased education on the dangers of indiscipline, impatience, and lawlessness on the roads to help facilitate the smooth flow of traffic to reduce accidents.
He called on the key stakeholders such as National Centre for Civic Education (NCCE), Motor Transport and Traffic Directorate (MTTD) and National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) and others, to do more in educating the citizenry and road users to be mindful of their safety and consequences of their actions on other road users.