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Gaborone Mayor, Veronica Lesole, has expressed concern over the rapid increase of vehicles, which are causing congestion and road accidents in Gaborone.
Lesole says most of these vehicles are mostly used in the greater Gaborone area.
She was speaking at the official opening of the Gaborone Multimodal Transport Study under the Botswana Integrated Transport Project on Wednesday.
“Traffic congestion has reached alarming levels around the city and public transport challenges need to be addressed,” she said, stating that the general flow of traffic in the city and reduction of accidents are a major concern.
She also said that the council had wanted to ensure that traffic lights are equipped with cameras but this failed due to financial constraints.
The Greater Gaborone Transport study is part of an initiative between the government and the World Bank to provide long term solution to the development of transport in the city to year 2035.
Meanwhile, the Director of Roads, Kabo Kote, said all villages and towns surrounding Gaborone have an immense impact, especially the travelling patterns in, out and within the city. He stated that transportation plans should not block new developments.
“We have started preparing terms of reference for centralized traffic control system, traffic light retiming and lane widening and also bus priority program,” said Kote.
He revealed the proposed concept design of two interchanges at BTV and Rainbow roundabouts. He stated that Gaborone has grown in terms of business opportunity hence the need to move from one point to another. “Freight trucks and other heavy duty vehicles on the roads have negatively impacted and destroyed the roads from South Africa to other surrounding countries,” said Kote. He defined Greater Gaborone surrounding as within a radius of 80km.
“Railway is diverting traffic on the roads particularly cargo and freight goods transportation,” he added.
Transport Hub Coordinator, Thapelo Leareng, stated that Botswana is the second leading country in SADC after South Africa on road accidents. He said for 2010, the vehicles fleet in Botswana was estimated at over 360 000 with most of them in Gaborone.
“The over-reliance on private vehicle use will have serious implications on air and health of society in the long run,” said Leareng.
He stated that the Gaborone transport system is not up to the desired level of efficiency, which has adverse effects on the economy mainly as a result of long travel times and accidents.