For motorists and commuters on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, this is not the best of time with the constant gridlock that has almost tripled their travel time on the axis, writes Muritala Ayinla
Frustration, anger and lamentation best describe the mood of the travellers and other road users on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway following hours of traffic gridlock that is not only multiplying their travel time but also resulting in the wastage of resources and supposed productive time.
The blood pressure of millions of these roads users increase on daily basis just as many of them are developing other fast killer-diseases due to the heavy traffic jam they are subjected to on their way to and fro Lagos. They are not only frustrated by the gridlock, but also faced with mental torture while on the road.
The ever-busy highways which were the only major road linking Lagos, the nation’s commercial centre to other parts of the country is constantly faced with challenges of several years of neglect, recklessness and carelessness on the part of the federal government and the state governments.
Commuters are either confronted with problem of poor management of accident scene which makes faulty and abandoned vehicles to be on the roads for several hours without being towed or slow response to the accident scene that often result into heavy traffic gridlock.
They are also frequently provoked with annoying gridlock during Redeemed Christian Church of God and the Mountain of Fire Miracle programmes on monthly basis, a development which many said that increases the volume of regular vehicles and commuters on the axis.
From the highly dreaded Otedola Bridge slope of the highway to Berger, come the challenge and fear of the motionless traffic gridlock; from Seven Up to Secretariat, motorists and other commuters pray against the road crash and other development could result into the traffic snarl. Kara Bridge to Wawa and down to Ibafo and Mowe is the story of frequent gridlock.
The gridlock which had earlier disappeared following the completion of some parts of the road expansion project embarked upon by the current administration resurrected and even became worse when the contractors resumed works about two months ago.
Thus, the traffic diversion on the ever busy expressway worsened the traffic snarl while the increasing travellers lamented the inability of the contractor to create palliative roads and fix the potholes which dotted some parts of the road for free flow of traffic.
Meanwhile, motorists and commuters will not forget in a hurry, the Sunday, 19th of August 2018 when the traffic gridlock totally grounded the ever-busy highways. It was a day that some of them spent about 8 hours on the traffic which stretched from Magboro/Wawa axis of the ends to Ojota, Ketu and some parts of the Third Mainland Bridge.
It was gathered that the traffic congestion was caused by a fully laden fuel tanker which broke down on the outward section of Lagos – Ibadan Expressway spilling its content.
Motorists and commuters remained stranded as the gridlock spread to Otedola Bridge, Ojodu, and other parts.
Speaking on the incident, the Lagos State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Mr. Hyginus Omeje, said the accident occurred at 5.56a.m.
According to Omeje, the vehicles involved were a white Mack tanker with registration number LSR 460 XG and a white Iveco truck marked LND 818 XN.
It was gathered that another accident occurred a few kilometres away from the first crash also on the same Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. The second accident, which occurred at Wawa area, involved a fuel tanker and another vehicle, said to be a tanker.
The presence of officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission could not immediately resolve the logjam, as many motorists spent over hours before they could get out of the gridlock.
Speaking with New Telegraph, a motorist, Bolaji Adeniji lamented that that he spent about 9 hours in the traffic, saying that the accident worsened the situation, as it resulted in total confusion on the road while motorists and passengers groaned and lamented the poor state of the road.
Narrating his ordeal, Adeniji said the experience was “killing”. According to him, those heading towards Ibadan were trapped the gridlock or resorted to the use of bush path in Mowe village while those heading Lagos made a detour towards the Sagamu interchange enroute Ogijo town.
Also speaking another motorist who was heading to Kwara for Eid-el_Kabir festival lamented that he had spent triple of his travel time on the road. He said Kwara to Lagos is about 4 hours plus but he had spent 8 hours from Ojota to Kara bridge. He appealed to the federal government to urgently intervene in the gridlock in the axis.
“While we thank President Muhammad Buhari for considering the road rehabilitated and expanded unlike his predecessors, we want the government to be responsible enough to consider our plight and address all the teething problems associated with this road and which make people to sleep on the road.
There should be Emergency and Ambulance points to assist the victims of accidents while a standby towing vehicles should also be made available with fire stations on the ever-busy expressway without all these provided, the problem may continue,” he said.
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