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Travel from Accra to Cape Coast - Always brace yourself up

BY: Vicky Wireko
Reckless driving: File photo
Reckless driving: File photo

Undoubtedly, a journey from Accra to Cape-Coast is one of the most torturing, most frustrating and nerve racking for travellers on that road.

If you should plan to do it, brace yourself up for frustrations.

Hindrances borne out of the recklessness of some drivers and the irritating slowdown of traffic on that stretch are rife as experienced on my journey to Takoradi the other Saturday.

The frustrations left me swearing that where possible, I will not do that trip again by road.

A journey that not long ago used to take a maximum of three and half hours took close to six hours that day, leaving Accra at 5.30am.

Under the illusion that we could do an easy return journey, I felt completely knackered when we got back to Accra at 8p.m. having left Takoradi at 1.30pm.

The Weija toll booth and Kasoa used to be problematic on that stretch. It is not any more.

The big thorn in the flesh of any driver on that road is Buduburam stretch. Approaching that sprouted settlement through to Awutu, the traffic pace one comes face to face with is intense.

The travel time to even Winneba, a journey that used to be at least an hour and a half is now over two hours.

With the University of Education, Winneba, still expanding with varied courses and increasing number of students, some living in Accra, one wonders how they are making it to lectures and other academic programmes on a daily basis.

To make the journey on the road even more irritating is how some reckless drivers who think they are the smartest do dangerous overtaking or manoeuvring to get ahead of all.

How could we have watched on for such unproductive traffic situation to have built up, as I experienced that Saturday?

Mankessim

Should anyone calculate that the journey back from Takoradi to Accra would be much better, that is an illusion.

One shocking frustration back into Accra was between the Mfantsiman Girls School and Mankessim. That 20 minute drive took us over one and a half hours to exit the Mankessim roundabout.

Reckless driving was at its best with drivers cutting in and blocking traffic flow from the opposite direction. Once we exited, the ugly slow traffic situation hit us again and this time at Awutu through to Buduburam.

While we were all sweating it out in line in the traffic, the sirens and horns kept blowing distracting attention and signalling for the law abiding to give way just because some felt they were more equal than all the rest of us.

As they did that, the reckless drivers rudely joined in their convoy thus creating more confusion and irritability on the road.

So with all that confusion and traffic stress on the Accra-Cape Coast route, any wonder it is one of the accident-prone in the country today? And indeed, we came across a couple of very bad crashes to prove the point.

Reflecting on the road confusion, I came to a conclusion that if the police were firmly on the ground, especially on weekends, the journey from Accra to Cape Coast and beyond could be a pleasurable drive.

Their absence on certain portions of the road left plenty of room for lawlessness and reckless driving which caused needless delays.

The journey by road to Cape Coast and beyond is a great disincentive to the tourism business.

Considering that a bigger chunk of our tourism potential lies within this route, it is the more reason why we should see it as a priority to fix the deficiencies on that journey.

Indeed, COVID-19 has slowed many things down including both domestic and foreign tourism.However, recollecting the successful “Year of Return” initiative which one saw in 2019 for the tourism industry, it is time for the industry to gather steam for better days.

But for COVID-19, one would have expected many more successful stories for diaspora tourism which has a related positive impact on our economy.

So, this could be a breathing space to get the retrogressive travel frustrations on the once-upon-a-time two hour safe drive to Cape Coast from Accra fixed.

Along the route and onward to the Western Region are some beautiful hotels that also encourage domestic tourism.However, all that would come to nought if the road from Accra is not consciously decongested and the traffic built up which slows down movement on that highway is brought under check.

Until then, increase in cheaper domestic flights in that direction may be the answer.

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