Gridlock in Accra as Christmas fast approaches

The perennial gridlock peaks during Christmas festivities when commuters head to the Central Business District, Accra, to get one item or the other but in the last days of 2021 even before Christmas , Accra’s arteries are choked with cars and fumes.

Apart from the uncomfortable traffic, is the hubbub from traders, honks from vehicles and the noticeable traipsing lot who typically converge at the Central Business District, especially around this time of year.

Pedestrian pavements and roads are obstructed by traders and shoppers alike, many of them hawkers, who venture into the sale of Christmas paraphernalia and take advantage of the vehicular traffic to rake in but end up worsening the traffic situation.

The traffic congestion on the roads could also be attributable to many traders who travel from far and near to Accra to stock their shops for the festive season.

A journey from Sakumono, a middle class peripheral Community in Tema, to Accra which mostly took about an hour has been doubled, and aside the impending festivities, a contributing factor to the traffic jam, is the construction of the Accra – Tema Beach Road Project, restricting motorists to roughly patched single lanes, causing traffic on that stretch.

Nana Kwesi Ampah, a commercial driver, told the Ghana News Agency that the traffic had been unbearable most of the time, but the forthcoming festive season had worsened their already frustrating journeys enroute to Accra.

According to him, mostly, his glance through his interior rear-view mirror shows seemingly frustrated passengers, some of whom are workers, traders, and students, because of the long hours they have to stay in traffic.

He said previously, he was able to make up to about three trips to and from Ashaiman through to Teshie Nungua and to Accra, but that had changed as he wondered where the cars usually came from during the Christmas season.

The driver said they tried to avoid by-passes in order not to experience the high level of vehicular traffic, adding that even the “bush road” – a short cut route – which was mostly resort to in such times were riddled with traffic congestion.

He said when he closed from work and had to drive all the way to Madina, where he resided, the traffic situation was not any different from the Teshie-Nungua stretch.

Mr Emmanuel Doudu, a private driver, said the motorway which served as an alternative route had slammed into congestion, sometimes in a bumper-to-bumper fashion.

Meanwhile, checks around Accra New Town, Kaneshie, Nima, Kasoa show that traffic keeps building up in those areas towards the Central Business District.

Also, the Accra-Cape Coast Road, through to Kasoa, New Bortianor is witnessing traffic congestion, just as the N6 Nsawam road through Achimota, the Ring Road West and Central stretch, Graphic Road among others.

I wish I could compose one of my childhood rhymes; traffic, traffic go away. Go and come another day, Parents want to go home to their children, a mother who saw the funny side of the gridlock, told the GNA.

The original version is about rain which is also far from the horizon as the Ghanaian capital roasts in high temperatures.

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