Reduce charges at Senchi, Akrade ferry sites

The Minister of Transport, Mrs Dzifa Attivor, has appealed to the Ministry of Road and Highways to reduce the fees charged at the Senchi and Akrade ferry sites, along the Volta river.

Currently, drivers pay between GH¢12 and GH¢85 to get their vehicles ferried across the Volta river, compared to GH¢2 and GH¢5, which were charged previously.

For instance, fees charged on a saloon car and a Mercedes 207 bus are GH¢12 and GH¢15 respectively.

Mrs Attivor made the appeal when she paid a visit to the Senchi and Akrade ferry stations Monday, to assess the impact of the closure of the Adomi Bridge on commuters.

“The cost of transportation is very high and I believe if the old prices that were charged at the Adomi Bridge were charged, it will ease the movement of people across the river,” she said. Background

The Adomi Bridge at Atimpoku in the Asuogyaman District in the Eastern Region was closed to vehicular and human traffic on March 10, 2014, for major rehabilitation works to begin.

The Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) closed the bridge and simultaneously launched ferry services at Senchi and Akrade, two communities in the Eastern Region, to enable commuters, traffic and goods to cross the Volta River.

The 56-year-old bridge connects some parts of the country such as Juapong in the North Tongu District, Ho and Hohoe. No facilities 

Mrs Attivor expressed concern over the lack of facilities at the ferry stations. She was particularly worried that the stations had no shelter for passengers and the washrooms were still under construction. 

She said the situation was creating a lot of discomfort for passengers and drivers and promised that the ministry, together with the Ministry of Roads and Highways, would ensure that the ferry station had the necessary infrastructure to host travellers.

Commenting on the timelines of operation of the ferries, Mrs Attivor requested managers of the ferries to institute a regular time period of operation to enable drivers to plan their schedules.

“There is no specific time you close the station and this uncertainty can confuse drivers on the routes,” she pointed out. Project manager 

Reacting to the minister’s concern, the Project Manager at the Senchi Ferry Site, Mr Benjamin Adjei Keelson, said the ferries did not have a specific time of ending their operations because of the huge demand on them.

He, however, said, “We  shall soon have fixed periods of operation and we shall communicate it to the public.” Transport operators

Representatives of the various transport unions told journalists that the Ministry of Roads and Highways did not consult and inform them before closing the Adomi Bridge and appealed for a downward review of fees charged at the ferry stations.

They also called for the construction of new bridges to create alternative access routes to the northern parts of the country.

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