Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Public transport costs for passengers using the Kampala-Masaka highway have been increased after the Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA technical team diverted traffic to carry out repairs on the failed sections of the road.
A section of the Kampala-Masaka highway collapsed after culverts used to fix the road in Lwera wetland between Kalungu and Mpigi districts broke, leading to disruption of traffic flow on either sides of the road.
Although the UNRA technical teams have since been fixing the road, they are yet to complete the works, a situation that has led to long queues of vehicles stagnated on both sides of the road.
Apparently, Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA technical teams undertaking the emergency repairs have diverted traffic, advising motorists to use the alternative route of Mpigi-Kanoni through Sembabule-Villa Maria to Masaka.
Allan Ssempebwa, the UNRA the deputy spokesperson says the diversion is intended to allow their technical teams enough space to carry out emergency repairs without inconveniences from and to motorists.
People traveling from Kampala are required to turn-off from Mpigi town and drive for about 106 kilometers up to Nyendo in Masaka municipality before rejoining the highway to the western axis.
Ssempebwa says they expect the repairs to be completed soon, calling upon the motorists and passengers to be a little more patient.
However, the traffic diversion has taken a heavy toll on passengers after drivers hiked transport fares through the alternative route.
Lilian Nabukalu, one of the affected passengers indicates that they have been made to pay more than two times from the usual transport charge from Masaka-to-Kampala.
She says instead of the usual Shs 20,000, the driver instead asked them to pay Shillings 50,000 after he took the route through Gomba.
“The experience is so tough if one wants to complete the journey, you either pay the fees or cancel the journey,” she says.
Similarly, some boda boda riders are also taking advantage of the emergency to overcharge passengers that wish to cross from either side of the road.