New measures to help improve traffic management


09-March-2012

The measures are the direct results of two public meetings in regard to traffic congestion management in town held in January.

Seychelles Public Transport Corporation (SPTC) chief executive Veronique Laporte, who is also the chairperson of the Seychelles Land Transport Agency (SLTA), SLTA acting chief executive Parinda Herath, road transport commissioner Patrick André, police chief superintendent Godfra Hermitte and police inspector Michel Tambara, the officer in charge of traffic, met the press recently to discuss these measures.

One of those is a new hotline number – 133 – which members of the public can use in emergency cases. The call will be directed to the command centre where the duty officer will take the details and ensure it is transferred to the respective district station. Response is targeted to be within five minutes for areas within Victoria.

Chief superintendent Hermitte said the police plan to decentralise the traffic section with officers stationed in all regions. Three officers have been assigned to Praslin where a traffic section, which will also cater for La Digue, has been created.

Inspector Tambara said during the two meetings that members of the public had requested the presence of police officers at certain areas like the clock tower and Bel Eau.

“We have taken these suggestions into consideration and we believe the measures are helping reduce the congestion problem,” he said.

Mr Herath gave details about the new box junctions on the roads. Vehicles, he said, should not enter the marked area unless their exit from the junction is clear, or, if turning, to await a gap in the oncoming traffic flow.

A box junction is a traffic control measure designed to prevent gridlock at busy road junctions. The surface of the junction is marked with two lines crossing each other in a yellow box.

“We are urging members of the public to respect the measures being taken to not only reduce congestion but also reduce accidents,” he said.

“The space where there is a box junction should be free at all times and drivers are reminded that it is an offence to stop within or park on the box. Action will be taken against drivers who do not abide by this rule,” he said.

Drivers seen with their vehicles on the box junctions will be charged with a fixed penalty of R200.

During the same interview, Mr André gave details of traffic congestion on the Bel Air road during peak hours.

“The team has consulted the vehicle owners who park their cars alongside the Bel Air road to explain the reasons why the measures are being taken in this area,” he said.

“In the case of Bel Air we have seen there are risks of accidents happening, congestion, and road rage can occur – meaning an aggressive or angry behaviour between drivers,” he said.

Mr André said there are risks of robbery when drivers leave their vehicles unattended like in the case of Bel Air.
“We have discussed all these aspects with the vehicle owners of the Bel Air area, and together we are working on finding solutions to this problem,” he said.

“One of the decisions taken is to be flexible for these individuals, whereby they will be allowed to park their vehicles at specific hours of the day and night. We are also working on a proposition put forward by these individuals to see if we can carry out a project. We are also in discussions with a property owner to have a parking space for the vehicle owners,” said Mr André, who added that once a permanent solution has been identified, the road will be restricted for parking.

 

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