Nairobi County governor Mike Sonko Mbuvi has banned all public service vehicles from accessing the Central Business District (CBD) in a bid to reduce traffic congestion in the city centre.
In the new move, all matatus accessing the CBD through Waiyaki Way/Uhuru Highway, Kipande Road, Limuru Road, Thika Road, Kiambu Road and Ruiru will have their new bus terminus at Murang’a Road (Fig Tree). All those vehicles that go past Ruiru but branch off before or at Kenol town on Nyeri/Meru-Nairobi Road will have their terminus at Desal Service Road Terminus.
All vehicles using Juja road, Ring Road, Ngala Road and Park Road to access the CBD will have their bus terminus at Ngara Road Terinus while those using Mombasa Road and Lang’ata Road will drop/pick passengers at the Hakati Terminus. Those plying Jogoo Road will terminate at Muthurwa.
Governor Sonko said the move will ease traffic in the city centre, creating a free flow of traffic hence regaining the lost glory of the city in the sun. “The move will enforce traffic law and regulation. We plan to team up with national government to fully operationalise NAMATA Act 2017. We will also incentivise motorist and pedestrian discipline,”said Sonko in a Facebook post.
“Also, the gazette seeks to block-pave, light-up and install CCTV Pedestrian sidewalks along all roads in Nairobi,” he added.
But in a quick rejoinder, Consumers Federation of Kenya (Cofek) praised the effort, however recommending certain measures to be put in place before fully implementing the ban.
“The Consumers Federation of Kenya (Cofek) welcomes the notification by the Nairobi City County government to bar Public Service Vehicles (PSV’s) from the Central Business District from September 20, 2017,” read a statement from Cofek. “We are constrained to caution that the rushed move to bar PSVs from the CBD is not only insufficient but unsustainable to say the least. Nairobi needs a fully integrated traffic management plan with corresponding investment.”
Cofek further argued that previous attempts have failed due to poor planning, and that it is unlikely that this would succeed. “In any case, it is a significant discrimination against commuters using PSVs. It can be easily legally challenged on the strength of Article 27(4) of the Constitution,” said Stephen Mutoro, the Cofek Secretary General.
Among suggestions from the consumer body include introduction of proper and corruption-free enforcement mechanisms, both human and technological, sufficient parking lots and adequate sheds to protect Kenyans from adverse weather at the proposed new termini for PSVs, ban private cars, including those of VIPs from the CBD, heavy trucks be kept off Uhuru Highway and deliveries into the CBD be done at night, hawking be regulated and strictly enforced among other issues.
The ban will take effect next Wednesday and will be enforced by the Traffic Police, National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) and the City County Traffic Marshals.