Commuters plying Ikwerre Road, one of the major roads in Port Harcourt have decried the high rate of trading activities on the road particularly the Mile One and Mile Three areas, an incident they said had contributed to the high rate of traffic jam experienced on the road in recent times.
The commuters said the sudden appearance of the road side markets amidst the on-going road construction was also responsible for some minor accidents that occurred on the road.
Speaking to The Tide yesterday in Port Harcourt, a civil servant and major user of the road Mr. Godknows Ijeije, said the road side trading had not only hindered the movement of pedestrians but narrowed the entire road thereby squeezing both pedestrians and vehicles on one lane.
Ijeije opined that the on-going road construction would not have caused so much of the traffic jam as asserted adding that the road trading had also constituted a major cause to the recent traffic jam on the road.
According to him, “this road, especially between Mile One and Mile Three was not known for traffic jam except during Trainfalls. However, the construction that is taking place has brought that experience to us for some time now. But I still feel that the construction work alone will not have been the cause of this traffic jam. There are other causes and this road trading is one of them. These traders that have left the markets to the roads to sell their goods are major contributors because both those ones that are walking and the vehicles are all struggling to move through one very small lane and so the jam is high”.
He also stated that the presence of police post on the road and the Mile Three motor park were also contributors to the traffic jam.
While noting with dismay the unusual number of hours spent on the road especially during the late afternoon and evenings, Ijeije called on the government and the construction company to ensure that the trading activities no longer take place adding that this would also reduce the rate of accidents and increase safety on the road.
A bus driver plying the Mile One, Mile Three area, Baribefe Israel maintained that the traders on the road have caused untold hardship on drivers in terms of wrong parking and unnecessary spending of money.
“Because of these traders, we most of the times are forced to park where we are not supposed to park and this results to our spending money unnecessarily. The traders have taken over our bus stops and we struggle to park our motors and most times, we are forced to park on the roads to drop and pick our passengers. This also results to traffic jam.”
He further said that the removal of the traders would reduce their spendings to the police and subsequently aid the free flow of traffic on the road.