Cops put plan in place to ease East Bank congestion

– three-lane system between Harbour Bridge and Houston

Commuters travelling along the East Bank Demerara are expected to get some relief effective today with the introduction of a three-lane system “in an effort to ease the traffic build up during peak hours,” police said in a statement.

“…The Guyana Police Force will be putting into effect a three-lane system between the Demerara Harbour Bridge and the Houston Access Road from 07:00 hrs to 09:00 hrs… and from 16:00 hrs to 18:00 hrs … from Monday to Friday…,” the statement said.

According to the police, during the period from 07:00 hrs to 09:00 hrs in addition to the two lanes on the western carriageway, the western lane of the eastern carriageway will also be used to accommodate vehicles travelling north into Georgetown. And during the period from 16:00 hrs to 18:00 hrs in addition to the two lanes on the eastern carriageway, the eastern lane of the western carriageway will also be used to accommodate motor vehicles travelling south along the East Bank Demerara highway.

Scores of persons frustrated with enduring daily traffic congestion have long complained that although there are two lanes, this does not help the situation.

The roadway is also burdened by the large influx traffic coming from the West Bank and West Coast Demerara.

One commuter who travels from Linden daily told Stabroek News yesterday that while the solution will ease the problem to some extent, there needs to be further long-term plans.

“A bottle neck will always be created. Traffic will seem to be flowing fast but then when you pass Houston it will be back to square one. A long-term solution needs to be looked at,” he said.

The commuter called for better transportation systems to be put in place. “Maybe there can be several big buses on the East Bank so there will be less small buses and that can help to ease the problem,” the commuter added.

Further, the commuter opined that another factor that leads to the heavy traffic congestion is the fact that there is a lack of jobs in the East Bank Demerara and as such many persons travel to the city.

“What can be done is that land can be set aside at the back of Diamond for several industries and commercial businesses and as such persons in those areas won’t have to seek jobs within the city and this is one thing that can ease the traffic problem,” he said.

During his 2013 National Budget presentation, Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh had indicated that funds were being set aside for preliminary work for the design of a road that would run parallel to the East Bank Demerara highway. He had noted that despite the fact that sections of the road had already been widened to four lanes, and work was ongoing on other sections, congestion was still an issue. It is not known whether those preparatory works budgeted for last year were carried out and what is the current status of the plan to build a parallel road.

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