#Article (Archive)

The ‘town meeting’ and the transport issues

Apr 6, 2016, 9:56 AM

Stakeholders yesterday met at the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) to discuss issues affecting road transport and map out an approach to achieving a sound system in the sector.

This move, taken by the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment, has been overdue, considering the myriad of issues and problems that have been bubbling in the sector over time.

The issues discussed at the meeting, according to facts gathered by our reporter, hinged more on bad driving, lack of respect for transport rules and regulations and road signs, as well as passenger fare extortion tactics being applied by commercial vehicle drivers.

These issues are very important though to be ironed out, especially as road or car accident has become common over the last two years.

But we would also like to note that transport unionism in the country needs proper organization, with members who must work in full concert with the relevant state authorities such as the Trade ministry.

We are aware of more than one group of road transport organisations, which are most times at variance with each other on road transport issues in this country.

Many a time, they are not only at variance with each other in matters relating to road transport, but even executive members of the same union or organisation are often in dispute,  either on issues affecting them or on holding positions in their organizations.

This situation has to be solved  to help them apply themselves well, and take corrective stance  (on matters) that would be of help to road transport in this country, as well as to promote trade and movement of goods and people within and out of the country.

The tactical game of extortion being practised by commercial vehicle drivers, especially taxi drivers, in this country also needs to addressed.

A regulated means of transportation to various points and the fare to be paid for these distances in the country have been established by the state authorities, in concert with the transport unions and commercial vehicle owners/drivers.

But this regulation is clearly being violated in recent months by commercial vehicle drivers, who have chosen to shorten distances of such travelling points, but still insist on collecting the same fare meant for the full distances agreed upon by them and the authorities concerned. This also has to be properly thrashed out in the system of road transport in the country.

We hope due consideration will be given to these issues and those discussed at the town meeting yesterday.

"The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty".