Officials ‘concerned’ over surging number of vehicles

KIGALI - Traffic Boss, Chief Supt Vincent Sano, has said that the increasing number of vehicles is likely to cause congestion, especially in urban areas like Kigali city.On average, 250 automobiles come into the country every month.“It is a problem especially since our roads haven’t been enlarged at the same rate,” Sano said.
Commuter buses jam one of Kigali streets. Officials have raised concern of traffic congestion (File Photo)
Commuter buses jam one of Kigali streets. Officials have raised concern of traffic congestion (File Photo)

KIGALI - Traffic Boss, Chief Supt Vincent Sano, has said that the increasing number of vehicles is likely to cause congestion, especially in urban areas like Kigali city.On average, 250 automobiles come into the country every month.

“It is a problem especially since our roads haven’t been enlarged at the same rate,” Sano said.

“This is a serious concern. And much of it is based on the fact that Kigali alone takes 80 percent of that annual percentage increase (6.7 %).”

Figures from the Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) indicate that, currently, there are 50,661 registered vehicles and close to 40,000 motor cycles, while in September last year, there were 48,733 vehicles.

“This increase in automobiles will become even worse if it is finally agreed that both right and left hand drive vehicles are allowed to come into the country,” Sano added.

He attributed the growing number of vehicles to the various car loan schemes introduced by banks, that have made it easy for people to own cars.

According to Sano, discussions on how to avoid further congestion are under way with stakeholders, including the ministry of infrastructure and Kigali City.

Among ideas being considered is the establishment of a park outside the city, asking developers to incorporate indoor parking in future structures and encouraging the public to use public transport. Long-term perspectives include establishment of flyovers.

Bruno Rangira, the City’s Director of Communication, says that the growing number of vehicles was considered during the development of the Kigali City Master plan.

KCC is rehabilitating city roads and expanding most traffic-jam prone areas. It is putting up junctions and roundabouts to ease traffic flow and decongest parts of the city.

 “The master plan is for the next 50 years and it takes into account population increase as well as traffic. It is not static. We have started on the journey and we are confident given the speed at which we are, and support from government.”

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