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Road Crash: Shiashie bus terminal a ticking time bomb as drivers endanger lives

Road Crash: Shiashie bus terminal a ticking time bomb as drivers endanger lives

The delay in the construction of a bus terminal at Shiashie Junction in Accra has compelled commercial drivers to take over the shoulders of the road and pavements, posing danger to road users.

Close to 100 vehicles jostle daily for more than 3,000 passengers along the street corners with a few reported road crashes and pedestrian knockdowns.

The Shiashie Lorry Station was closed to drivers in December last year to allow for the construction of a new bus terminal.

The drivers, some, operating at the Station since 2002, were relocated to a temporary site near the Tema Motorway, about two kilometres away from the old station.

After three months, the construction site has seen no development, with drivers operating along the streets and endangering lives.

Despite interventions by police officers, some drivers continued to use the shoulders of the road, occasionally creating chaotic situations with passengers chasing vehicles and vice versa in the sharp curve.

The chaotic situation was compounded by some commuters who used ride-in services including Uber, Yango and Bolt, after waiting for a while at the same place.

The situation often resulted in heavy human and vehicular traffic, especially during rush hours.

The vehicles commute between Shiashie and American house, Adjiringanor, La-Bawaleshie, Ashaley Botwe, and other communities in East Legon.

When the Ghana News Agency visited the area, it observed that for more than an hour, no passenger walked to the temporary station to board a car.

Consequently, the drivers moved their vehicles from the station to pick passengers along the streets and pavements at the sharp turn junction close to the footbridge on the Shiashi-Legon road.

A passenger, who had just returned from Nigeria with her sister, lamented the inconvenience associated with the long-distance passengers had to cover to the temporary station to pick a car.

She said: “This is where we usually pick car home, but they’ve sent the cars to motorway, which you have to walk for several minutes to get there. I am just coming from Nigeria and I’m stranded because they’re not allowing the drivers to pick us here. This is frustrating.”

Madam Lydia Pepprah, also a passenger, said: “I know it’s risky standing by the road side to pick a car, but I can’t walk to the other side because of the distance. So, if I stand here for a while and I don’t get a car, I’ll order for a ride.”

Mr Salisu Wakilu, Chairman of the Shiashie Branch of the Progressive Transport Owners’ Association (PROTOA) said: “It was in December that the Authorities held a meeting and relocated us to the temporary station near the motorway. They told us that they were going to develop the place into a modern bus terminal with a market and some ancillary facilities.”

He noted, however, that several efforts to get the passengers to the new place had yielded no result, as they continued to express concerns over the long distance they had to cover.

Mr Wakilu said they had to use the pedestrian walkway to remain in business.

“Most of the cars use this route and alight the passengers who then board cars here (Shiashie) to their respective destinations. Excluding floating cars, we transport about 3,000 passengers daily but that has reduced drastically since we were relocated.”

He said: “So we decided to use the pavement and bring two cars at a time to pick passengers,” and said, “So we’re appealing to the authorities to at least give us a space at the Shiashie station for the time being so that when they’re ready for the construction then we move.”

Madam Phyllis Abalansah, the Head of Information Services/Public Relations at Ayawaso West Municipal Assembly, declined to comment on the situation when contacted, noting that there was a pending case at the court on the construction site.

Section 19 of the Road Traffic Act, 2004 (Act 683) prohibits the parking of motor vehicles on verges, central reservations footways, pedestrian crossing, and places reserved for physically challenged persons.

Anyone who contravenes this law is subject to a summary conviction to a fine not exceeding 250 penalty units (GHS3000 – one penalty unit is GHS12) or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 12 months or to both.


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