General News of Saturday, 3 August 2019
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Friday commissioned the Accra Traffic Management Centre under the Urban Transport Project, to ensure efficient vehicular traffic flow, mitigate road congestion and improve socio-economic productivity of the capital.
The Centre, known as the “Area-Wide Traffic Signal Control System (AWTSCS)”, was implemented by the Ministry of Roads and Highways through the Department of Urban Roads, with funding from the French Development Agency and Ghana Government at an estimated cost of GHc8.3 million (US$3.4 million).
The project, first in Ghana and West Africa, was executed by Messrs Alumbrados Varios of Spain and Messrs Dakal Construction Works of Ghana, to improve traffic flow on urban road networks and ensure efficiency at the various road intersections.
The first phase of the project was targeted at the coordination of traffic signals and 41 traffic lights were upgraded at intersections between Neoplan Assembly Plant at Achimota, Kwame Nkrumah Avenue and Kojo Thompson Road to the Central Business District of Accra.
At the inauguration ceremony in Accra, President Akufo-Addo urged the Ministry of Roads and Highways and its implementing agencies to ensure proper maintenance of the facility, in order to serve as a model centre of excellence.
The management of the Centre would be undertaken jointly by the sector Ministry through the Department of Urban Roads with support from the Ghana Police Service and the Greater Accra Passenger Transport Executive.
He said AWTSCS aimed at improving the level of service at the various traffic intersections, ensured coordinated and synchronised traffic signal systems to reduce travel time, provided bus priority at some critical signalised intersections for high occupancy buses (Ayalolo buses) and identified and rectified fatal or critical problems at signalised intersections to facilitate traffic data gathering for planning purposes.
The President mentioned some activities undertaken during the first phase of the project as the construction of a Traffic Management Centre that processes traffic data gathered from field devices, state-of-the-art traffic controllers, LED Signal Heads and Magneto detectors.
The second phase of the project is expected to start on August 15, this year, and completed in September 2020, with funding from the China Development Bank and will involve 207 signalised intersections in the Greater Accra Region.
This, he said, would include; installation of new traffic controllers and installation of detectors to collect vital traffic data needed for the efficient flow of traffic in the national capital.
He said the commissioning of the facility was a major step towards addressing traffic congestion in Accra, noting that, free flow of vehicular traffic and safety on the roads were critical for the development of the nation and enhancing the key sectors of the national economy.
Mr Kwasi Amoako-Atta, the Minister of Roads and Highways, in an address, said the inauguration of the facility was a bold attempt by Government to address the perennial congestion challenge in Accra in view of the increasing vehicular growth rate in the country.
He noted that statistics from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) showed that vehicular growth rate in Accra between 2015 and 2018 was between 12 and 15 per cent, which put pressure on the existing road infrastructure.
Therefore, the Ministry was adopting various innovative measures and holistic approach to deal with the challenge, including; provision of infrastructure for public transport-terminals, segregated bus lanes, upgrading of roads and construction of interchanges, he added.
He said secret cameras were fixed at the various traffic intersections to monitor recalcitrant motorists who would jump red lights and those arrested would be fined to serve as a deterrent to others.
Mr Amoako-Atta appealed to all road users to comply with the road traffic regulations and protect the heavy investment made in constructing the facility to ensure value for money and improve productivity.