Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Commuter taxi operators that have been operating outside gazzeted tax parks have agreed to relocate to the parks as part of UNRA’s effort to reduce traffic along the Northern bypass.
UNRA recently said the creation of taxi stages out of the parks along the bypass were responsible for the reduced size of the road surface available to vehicular traffic resulting into congestion.
The stages which were operating illegally are also said to have compromised the safety measures aimed at protecting the road users.
The Northern bypass passes through Kampala and parts of Wakiso district starting from Bweyogerere on Jinja road to Busega where it joins the Entebbe expressway.
The bypass was designed to relieve congestion and reduce on travel time on several routes in and around Kampala.
The commuter drivers on Friday held crisis meetings where the majority agreed to heed to President Museveni and Uganda National Roads Authority’s call to stop operations at the illegally established loading stages.
Uganda Road’s Authority had notified all persons under those stages to move to designated taxi stages by August 18th, 2020 or risk being removed by force.
URN visited some of the stages at Namungoon, Busega, Masanafu, Kalerwe and Bwaise roundabouts and found the operators gathered in meetings to resolve the standoff. Many said they had no option but to heed to the directive.
Dick Saabwe, a taxi driver and the secretary of the stage at Namungoona roundabout said that his only worry was the park where they are relocating to may be congested.
While he fears that they may ply less journeys, the relocation will relieve him of stress of working under fear of operating under ungazzeted stages.
Hajji Abdul Rahkumani Mutebi, who has been operating from Busega roundabout said working under unauthorized stages has been risky because they were accident-prone.
Kevin Mubiru, the chairman of Nansana taxi park said the park is open to every driver provided they respect the rules and regulations at the stages.
Dissan Mutawe, the acting chairman of Kalerwe taxi park also said there is enough space for other taxis who will be joining and start operating adding that this is done to save them from being arrested and cars being impounded.
Yesterday, over 70 taxis were impounded for operating in ungazetted areas in Kampala. They were operating in areas like Ben Kiwanuka street, Mega standard supermarket among others on Katwe road yet they had been relocated to parks like Usafi, Kisenyi, New park as redevelopment was going on in their recent park of Old taxi park.