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Road user satisfaction improves across Uganda – Report

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT  | Road users’ satisfaction has improved across Uganda, according to the 2019 National Road Users’ Satisfaction Survey findings released this morning by the Uganda Road Fund.

The National Survey gauged the satisfaction of road users in terms of road width, their safety, signage, markings, availability of dust and potholes, durability, designs, congestion and security of the roads. Others include the presence of public amenities such as sanitary facilities and services for parking, washrooms, fuel stations, police posts and eateries.

The report indicates that the aggregate road user group satisfaction increased to 57.2 per cent in 2019 from just 27 per cent in 2012, on an undulating seven-year trajectory of poor performance and significant improvement along the pathway. Passengers reported the most experiential satisfaction at 63.7 per cent followed the cyclists and pedestrians.

On average dis-aggregated percentage points, cyclists and passengers are the most satisfied group of road users followed by pedestrians. At commercial levels, motorcyclists, truck, buses and taxi drivers are the least satisfied categories of road users.

Engineer Michael Odongo, the Executive Director of Uganda Road Fund says the Western region is the most satisfied region, while Kampala and the Northern region posted the lowest satisfaction scores.

Engineer Odongo says the users attributed the improvement in experience to better road maintenance and rehabilitation works which accounted for 58 per cent experience satisfaction.  Another 10 per cent of road users attributed their contented experiences to roads usage to widened and improved signage, quicker journey times and road safety.

The country now has a 13,000 all-weather road network. Engineer Odongo says the findings should improve future engineering designs of the roads in view of making them safer and user-friendly.

State Minister for Works and Transport, Gen Edward Katumba Wamala says Uganda’s improving road network has converted Uganda from being a Landlocked Country to a Land Linked Country. He said the government will continue to implement reforms in the sector to improve the safety and availability of public amenities in the road sector.

According to Gen. Katumba, all road projects will have an environmental component related to tree planting implemented in them. He says the ministry will concentrate on the installation of sanitary facilities and rest areas on all roads at every 80 Kilometers in accordance with the Road Act 2018.

Finance Minister Matia Kasaija says that the government allocated 6.4 trillion shillings in this financial year budget to improve the road network, some of which went towards procuring the Bombardiers for the revival of the national carrier, Uganda airlines.

Kasaija urged the Ministry of Works and Transport to maintain the registered improved road user satisfaction after spending USD 155 million in procuring road maintenance equipment for local governments last year.

The Road User Satisfaction Survey is a national survey covering all regions of the country. Respondents comprise an equal number from each of the six road user groups, namely truck drivers, bus and matatu drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, cyclists and car drivers.

The key topics that were covered in the survey included among others Satisfaction with overall experience on all public roads; Satisfaction with current journey; Pedestrian experiences and challenges; Road safety; Rating of road agencies on key road services; Road users’ awareness of road agency mandates; Road tolling; and Membership to road user associations.

This year’s budget allocation to the road sector stood at 6.45 trillion shillings, up from 4 trillion in 2018.

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