Commercial drivers who ply the Teshie-Nungua-Tema Beach Road continue to jostle one another for passengers, at the expense of pedestrian safety, while a newly constructed bus terminal at Nungua in the Krowor municipality of Accra, remain closed.
The terminal, constructed at a cost of GH¢5.4 million, is yet to be opened for business, months after its completion.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, inaugurated the facility in December 2018 when he visited the municipality as part of his Greater Accra Regional tour.
The closure of the facility, which can accommodate not less than 200 vehicles at a time, has compelled some commercial drivers to create unauthorised loading points along the Nungua main road.
For years, scores of commercial drivers had converted designated bus stops along the road into loading spots, a situation which initially informed the decision by the authorities to construct the terminal to curtail the practice.
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In random interviews, some of the drivers expressed worry over the delay on the part of the assembly in opening the bus terminal to safeguard their operations in the area.
Some of them said although they were aware that their activities on the main road contravened road traffic regulations, the absence of an officially designated area for them to pick passengers was to blame for their actions.
“There is no large area for us to either load or drop passengers. We are forced to disobey traffic regulations because we cannot move about with empty vehicles,” Nii Aryee Armah, a commercial bus driver, complained.
Another driver, Samuel Asare, said: “Personnel of the Motor Traffic and Transport Directorate (MTTD) of the Police Service periodically carry out swoops and arrest us. At least they should appreciate the fact that there is no reserved area for loading passengers.”
The drivers, therefore, appealed to the Krowor Municipal Assembly (KROMA) to, as a matter of urgency, open the facility for use.
They also called on the assembly to engage them thoroughly on the management of the facility to ensure the equitable distribution of space.
The project, which forms part of the Transport Sector Project (TSP) under the Department of Urban Roads (DUR), was funded by the World Bank.
It comprises a spacious bus terminal, an office space, toilet facilities, among others.
The expansion and asphalting of some peripheral roads within Nungua formed part of the project.
The China Jiangxi Engineering Ghana Limited (CJEGL), the construction firm that worked on the project, commenced work in February 2018 and completed the construction of the terminal and other facilities within it in November 2018.
When the Daily Graphic visited the project site last Monday, it observed that the bus terminal had been locked.
The painted walls were getting defaced as a result of the activities of scores of traders who had encroached on the area to conduct brisk business.
When contacted, the Municipal Works Engineer at KROMA, Mr John Tsikor, explained that the delay in opening the facility was as a result of the need to create an additional entrance for the terminal to avoid congestion.
He said work on the additional entrance was ongoing, adding that it would be completed very soon, after which the assembly would commence business in it.
The Developing Engineer at the DUR, Mr William Donkor, who was also contacted, expressed shock at the fact that the facility remained closed to drivers.
He said the DUR had, on two occasions, asked the assembly to commence operations in the facility to reduce the rate at which drivers flouted traffic regulations on the main road.
“We have completed our portion of the work; it is the responsibility of the assembly to look at how it will manage the facility,” he stated.