[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) on Wednesday said it would collaborate with the Governors of Anambra, Willie Obiano and Delta, Ifeanyi Okowa on measures to ease off traffic at the Niger Bridge during the yuletide.
The Corps Marshal, FRSC, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi made this known during a meeting with the two governors.
According to a statement signed by Mr Bisi Kazeem, Head Media Relations and Strategy, FRSC, Oyeyemi said that plans were underway to curb the perennial traffic challenges along Benin-Asaba-Onitsha- Awka corridor, one of the major highways which link the Eastern part of the country to the others, which the Corps Marshal described as one of the critical Corridors of the nations’ highways with a total stretch of about 173km.
“Characteristically,” he said, “the Corridor experiences considerable volume of traffic in varying diversity.
“Recent traffic count indicated that at the peak of traffic along Asaba – Benin highway a total of 7,692 vehicles were recorded on 12 hourly basis; while Benin – Asaba also recorded 6,681 at the peak.
“ The lowest traffic period within the same period recorded 527 and 412, for the two routes respectively.
“Of recent, it has been observed that the corridor has degenerated throwing up some traffic non-conformities while at the same time motorists, as usual, misuse the road bringing considerable hardship to other motorists.
“Aside from this, other non-traffic impediments prevail along the corridor for which concerns have been raised and immediate, medium and long term solutions must be preferred.’’
Oyeyemi said that the FRSC also observed some challenges along that corridor like:Army, Police and produce officials’ Checks points before Head Bridge causing gridlocks.
He said inappropriate use of intersections along the corridor, motorists making illegal use of the dual carriage Island during peak periods and inadequate and defacement of traffic signs among others were also included.
The Corps Marshal proffered solution to consist of a short term initiative of reformed Military/Police checks to reduce interference with traffic flow.
He also suggested the elimination of Local Government Area Council agent’s produce/emblem check points and more personnel to be deployed to adequately man intersections and ease traffic friction.
He added that there was need for public enlightenment on the values of road signs to stem destruction and defacement and removal of all obstructions e.g. buildings, markets, motor parks, hawkers e.t.c
He said that the medium term plan could be reduction in number of U-Turn on the dual carriage way and Procurement and installation of adequate traffic signs along the Corridors to guide traffic.
He said that repairs of the defective shoulders of the road and other segments that serve as impediments to free traffic flow would be needed adding that procurement of adequate traffic cones and reflective jackets would help.
He said the long term plan should include blockage of the Islands being illegally used with non transverse barriers and state bye-law should be put in place .
This he said was to adequately punish anyone who defaces and/or destroy traffic signs and other road infrastructure.
Oyeyemi said that having identified the various impediments to free flow of traffic along this critical corridor and highlighting the possible phased solutions, intervention as specified would go a long way.
He said this would also make motorists enjoy their travels and minimize time lost in transit as well as eliminate loss of lives and property associated with crashes.
“Quick action on this issue is therefore sacrosanct,” he stressed.
The statement said that the Governors pledged their support to FRSC to ensure a sustained free flow of traffic in the two states especially during the yuletide.
In separate statements, according to Kazeem, the two Governors promised logistics support to FRSC to achieve the big task and requested the Corps to make a difference this year so as to ease the attendants pains witnessed by the motoring public around this period.