General News of Saturday, 2 December 2017
Users of the state-owned Intercity State Transport Company Limited [STC], are unhappy with the suspension of the company’s services to Tamale.
The company’s management suspended operations from the south to Tamale, following the temporary closure of the Buipe and Yapei bridges.
This is affecting most travelers who rely on the Intercity STC coaches for safety, reliability and comfort.
This unpleasant situation has incurred the wrath of Intercity STC users who are calling for a resumption of the services.
One of the affected users, McDonald T, narrated his frustration in a Citi News interview, saying, “In fact, it has been a problem for us who use STC. Assuming all the private transport service providers suspend their services, imagine the socio-economic implications.”
“We just want to appeal to those in charge especially Nana Akomea, to ensure that they reactivate the movement of STC coaches in the Northern Region. I want to appeal to the Speaker of Parliament as well, to look into this very issue. It is not the best for us at this time of our lives because we are losing money and other things.”
Buipe, Yapei bridge closure: Cars, passengers stranded
The temporary closure of the Buipe and Yapei bridges in the Central Gonja District of the Northern Region is affecting socioeconomic activities in the area and beyond.
Roads and Highways Minister, Kwasi Amoako Atta, ordered the temporary measure for routine maintenance ahead of the Christmas.
He estimated that the rehabilitation works would last for four weeks, and proposed that motorists should use the Eastern Corridor, Fufulso-Sawla and Central routes as alternatives.
Since the closure, motorists from the Sahel and Northern and Upper East Regions have been stranded at the bridges site due to the long hours they have to spend waiting to cross. Commercial transport service providers including the VVIP, are compelled to use the Salaga-Makango Ferry through Yeji to connect to the southern part of the country.
Transporters of perishable farm produce to the south, are in bad business because of the number of days they spend on the road.
The two main bridges connect Ghana to neighboring countries including Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Togo. The proper construction of the Daboya bridge along that of Buipe and Yapei, will begin in 2018.
According to the Minister Roads and Highways, each of the three new bridges is estimated at 25 million US dollars each.
Afram Plains ferry relocated to Yeji-Buipe
Government has also temporally relocated the ferry at Afram Plains to Yeji-Buipe in the Northern Region, following the closure of bridges in the area for repairs and the subsequent traffic congestion in those areas.
The youth of Afram Plains had earlier rejected the relocation, and had vowed to do everything possible to stop government from doing so.
Speaking in a Citi News interview, a Deputy Minister of Transport, Daniel Titus-Glover, explained that, the ferry’s relocation was necessary to reduce the traffic congestion that had mounted, following the closure of the two bridges at Buipe and Yapei.