Mombasa County suspends new traffic system
Speaking to the media at Mombasa County Inspectorate Headquarters in Tudor on Tuesday morning, County Transport Executive Taufiq Balala announced that the two-way traffic system would resume immediately from midnight.
This followed a public outcry from residents, matatu operators, other stakeholders and the political class who were all calling for an overhaul of the new traffic system.
The exercise that began Feb. 2 on a trial basis was eventually to become permanent once start-up issues and system challenges were identified.
“As a result, as CECM in charge of Transport, I have this morning and after wide consultation with the Governor directed that the Department of Transport, Mombasa County Government reconsider the plans currently being implemented and revise them.”
“To that end, and in response to the good people of Mombasa, I have ordered the immediate suspension of the current traffic management plan effective midnight today,” Balala said.
Balala said the declared changes are aimed at ensuring the best traffic system for the benefit of Mombasa residents to serve both present and future generations.
“We cannot pretend to block our ears, close our eyes and close our mouths in the face of the people’s calls for intervention. It is said that the voice of the people is the voice of God, we are not insensitive to the suffering experienced by our people,” Balala said.
Under new traffic rules that were put in place last week, most major roads have been turned one-way in a bid to smooth traffic and reduce journey times for motorists. A move that wreaked havoc and huge traffic jams in the city center.
Trucks had also been banned from using CBD except from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.
Mombasa residents interviewed welcomed the county’s change of heart, urging Balala to engage all stakeholders the next time it wants to implement changes affecting the public transport sector.