March 3, 2017 By Joseph S. Margai
In an effort to decongest the major streets in Freetown, Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA), is set to remove abandoned vehicles from the streets in the eastern part of the city, an operation that has successfully been done in the Western part of Freetown.
It could be recalled that concerns have been raised over the years by motorists and pedestrians that traffic congestion in Freetown was mainly as a result of the many abandoned vehicles and street garages. SLRSA has made frantic efforts to curb the spate and rate at which motorists repair vehicles on the streets.
In a telephone interview yesterday with the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of SLRSA, Abdul Karim Dumbuya, said the spate at which abandoned vehicles have taken over the major streets of Freetown was becoming an eyesore, but noted that his institution has started to clear most of them in the major areas in Western Freetown.
“We have peaceful Sierra Leoneans who are embarrassed on daily basis by the numerous abandoned vehicles on the streets. Some people get late for work and even to their business places. Many people have been missing their flights because of the congestion of the city which is responsible for the long queue of traffic. It was also an embarrassment to foreigners as well,” he said.
He said it was a serious concern to the SLRSA Executive Director, Dr. Sarah Finda Bendu, and her team, and that she wasted no time to give instruction for major streets in Freetown to be decongested.
“We have nine tow trucks in good working order readily available to clear all the abandoned vehicles in Freetown and even those that are left on the streets after road traffic crashes. Our personnel are also ready to discharge this responsibility,” he said.
He disclosed that they started to clear abandoned vehicles in Western Freetown some months ago, and that they have successfully done that with accolades from the public.
He said all the abandoned vehicles that were cleared along the major streets in Western Freetown have been taken to Cockrill.
He, however, stated that SLRSA was faced with the challenge of accessing space to park the numerous abandoned vehicles, but noted that they have been coping with the little space they have.
The bold action taken by SLRSA to decongest the Western Freetown has received a lot of accolades from well-meaning Sierra Leoneans. A vox pop conducted by this reporter brought out the views of members of the public.
James Browne, a public servant, said the move by SLRSA to decongest the city of Freetown was timely because many of them used to go to work late but could now arrive for work on time.
A student of Fourah Bay College, Hawa Bangura, said previously, she had to get up early in the morning to go for classes because she would get late if she did not leave home early.