Truckers cause agonising traffic on Mombasa highway

April 13, 2013 7:10 pm


The traffic stretched for over five kilometers on the busy highway/FELIX MAGARA
The traffic stretched for over five kilometers on the busy highway/FELIX MAGARA
NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – Motorists spent agonizing hours in traffic stretching as far as five kilometres on the Nairobi- Mombasa highway at Mlolongo on Saturday, as truck drivers queued to go through the weigh bridge station.

Traffic Commandant Samuel Kimaru told Capital FM News the jam was as a result of a large number of trucks overlapping and blocking the highway.

He attributed the huge number of vehicles to businessmen clearing their goods at the Port of Mombasa following the cooling of the political atmosphere.

“Those people doing business at the Port of Mombasa were not sure of the environment in the country during the elections. As a result of this, they did not move their goods from the port as they tested the atmosphere. Now that everything is calm, they are all moving their goods and this is causing a huge volume of trucks on the road,” he said.

He said officers were sent to the scene to direct traffic and that they cleared the jam.

“The situation was made worse by the fact that the truck drivers were overlapping at the weighbridge and blocking the road. This caused the huge traffic jam experienced but our officers are now in the area directing traffic and within an hour, everything will have returned to normal,” he stated in the afternoon.

A number of truck drivers however complained about the long hours they had to wait for their turn at the weigh bridge.

“They need to agree so that they can weigh the whole truck at once. You cannot weigh each component of the truck as this would take a long time. Even you as a human being you cannot be weighed in parts,” one of them said.

“Sometimes you find that the jam has gone up until Athi River and you are told to follow the queue and then there even other trucks that are overweight but are allowed to pass. This is not really fair,” another stated.

They’re now urging the government to reduce the number of weigh bridges on the highway, which have proven to be an inconvenience.

“The number of weighbridges in this highway are many. And this makes us delay our trips which in turn makes us lose profit. The government should find a way of reducing them so that we are not inconvenienced.”

Earlier this week, the Kenya National Highways Authority came out fighting against allegations that it was responsible for the traffic snarl-up that paralyzed transport along the Nairobi- Mombasa road last weekend.

Drivers blocked the highway with their trailers stretching over 10 kilometres to protest against alleged corruption and slow service at the Mariakani weighbridge.

KeNHA however accused transporters of sabotage in an attempt to avoid regulation.


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