The Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA) has intervened after Mombasa County Governor, Ali Hassan Joho, launched a new traffic model in the coastal city dubbed ‘Double 2 Double’.
This was after confusion was witnessed in Mombasa, following the implementation of the new traffic model which took effect on Wednesday, February 2, at 5a.m. This saw the closure of some roads in the city.
In addition, some of the streets were converted into one-way roads, causing a traffic stalemate in the city despite the presence of traffic marshals stationed to oversee the rollout of the new model.
KeNHA, through its Coast Deputy Regional Director, Howard M’mayi, recommended that Governor Joho implement the new model in phases to avoid the disorder witnessed earlier.
Vehicles driving on the new one-way lanes in Mombasa County
“We have talked to the transport executive and he has assured us that they are going to carry out a trial first.
“We recognize the county is trying to decongest the traffic in Mombasa CBD. If the idea will not work within half a day, they will reverse the decision and work on it,” M’mayi stated.
Coast Traffic Commandant, Peter Maina, stated that ‘Double 2 Double, is under a 10-day trial and will be reviewed every three days. He further added that traffic police officers were deployed to assist motorists.
“I expect chaos in the first weeks because it’s a new thing. A lot of drivers will find themselves on the wrong side of the lane but we have our traffic marshals and traffic police in every junction to guide those with challenges,” Maina noted
Notably, the system worked flawlessly in some areas. Mombasa County Transport Executive, Tawfiq Balala, not only defended the plan but also expressed confidence that it would work.
The new model will further see heavy trucks barred from accessing the city between 5 a.m and 8 p.m .The new developments led to the phasing out of the ‘Happy Hour’ launched in 2019, which “allowed” road users to flaunt traffic rules in a bid to rid congestion during the rush hour.
During this period, motorists were allowed to drive on either lane of the road between 7 a.m and 8 a.m in the morning and 6 p.m to 7 p.m in the evening
Mombasa County Government