Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway: Commuters lament over Ikeja-Along axis gridlock

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LAGOS, NIGERIA - JULY 15: A general view of congested traffic in central Lagos on July 15, 2008 in Lagos, Nigeria. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Commuters and motorists plying the Ikeja Along axis on Lagos – Abeokuta Expressway have called on the Lagos State Government to intensify efforts toward decongesting constant gridlock on the road.

Those, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday, said that they usually spend over two hours in traffic from Ikeja GRA, inward PWD and Ikeja Along between the hours of 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. daily.

According to them, traffic jam on that axis from 3 p.m. has become a recurring issue due to commercial vehicle activities at the Ikeja Along bus stop terminal.

The motorists also decried the lackadaisical attitude of some personnel of the state traffic agency stationed at the area to ease traffic.

Mr Adekunke Iyanda, a civil servant, said the officials were not strict enough in enforcing the law, adding that the bus drivers undermined their presence by parking on the road to pick up passengers.

He pleaded with the bus drivers to use the bus stop park lane appropriately, to avoid causing traffic for other road users.

Mr Shittu Adeyanju, an Uber driver, said the traffic along that route had discouraged him from plying the route regularly.

“When a passenger books a ride to Iyana Ipaja, I usually decline the order because of the traffic along that route.

“These bus drivers act like they own the road and they insult you whenever they are corrected,” he said.

He suggested that there should be regular mobile patrol by the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) officials along that route to ease the flow of traffic.

Mrs Shade Jegede, a trader, urged LASTMA officials at the area to exert stricter rules and sanctions for defaulters and resist the temptation of collecting money from drivers.

“Lagos is not a lawless state, so LASTMA officials should be impartial in carrying out their duties.

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“I am sure if the officials are strict on them, we will see a positive change in no time,” she said.

Mr Hassan Mamud, the Public Relation Officer (PRO) Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) acknowledged that there was more pressure on the road.

He, however, assured that it would reduce when the ongoing construction of BRT lane is completed.

Mamud said that majority of the commercial bus drivers also compounded the problem, adding they always flout the traffic rules and regulations on the route.

“There is pressure on the road for now as a result of ongoing construction of BRT.

“At the same time, commercial bus drivers are so reckless in driving thereby contributing to gridlock along the corridor.

“The state government has constructed lay-bys, we also introduce barriers where the commercial buses can stop and pick their passengers without disrupting traffic but they refused to make use of it,“ he said.

The attitude of the commercial drivers, he said contributed to the traffic jam.

According to him, some of the commercial buses are impounded recently while over 200 commercial motorcycles were also impounded to create sanity along the routes.

Mamud said that efforts had been put in place to reduce the traffic to the barest minimum with deployment of LASTMA officials to various bus stops at the corridor.

According to him, the effort is to enforce compulsory usage of lay-bys and arrest indiscriminate parking of vehicles.

“We will continue to do the needful until sanity is restored to the routes especially at the pick period,’’ he said.

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