Leaders in Urban Transport Planning from Ghana and Sierra Leone have converged in Kumasi to participate in an interactive workshop on Urban Transport Institution Management and Public Transport Reforms.
Mr. Ibou Diouf, Director in charge of the Transport Secretariat at the World Bank, explained that, urban practitioners in rapidly urbanising and developing cities in Africa were grappling with the challenge of providing more inclusive access to opportunities, while reducing the impact of travel on human welfare and the environment.
He noted that, addressing complex challenges, including congestion, road traffic fatalities and injuries, air pollution and the consumption of scare resources like land and dual required holistic approaches to urban transport planning, governance, management and operations implemented by strong and cooperative institutions empowered with human capital with a wide range skills.
He disclosed that, the facilitated programme was aimed at problem-solving and hands-on- learning would empower the participants to think creatively and holistically, and learn from one another on how to assess the travel needs and challenges facing their cities, balance different perspectives of Transport system regulators, operators and users and develop solutions that are best fit to local circumstances.
Mr. Randy Wilson, Head of Transport Department at the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) explained that, the Vision and Mission of the Assembly’s Transport sector is to deliver an integrated transport system which provides for economic and social needs of the city of Kumasi.
He noted that, the goal is to have a well regulated public transport system and an improved flow of traffic through all major intersections.
He indicated that, the metro development focus is to revamp productive infrastructural facilities in the metropolis to attract vibrant and sustainable productive investments that will make optimal use of the abundant human resources and economic opportunities available, to enable all residents in the metropolis with challenges.
The Head of Transport Department mentioned political interference, that poorly organized service provision, illegal loading at unauthorised places and Non- renewal of Transport operational permits, Non Street stations to compliment and funding for transport activities as a routine challenges.
Mr. Simon Osei Mensah, the Ashanti Regional Minister, also observed that, transportation is one of several challenges in the region, and expressed the government commitment to support the industry players and stakeholders to address the numerous challenges.
He stated that, lack of multi car park in the city is one of the challenges and observed that when addressed it would help minimise and reduce vehicles coming into the cities.
He also recommended mass bus transport system to provide some relief from economic hardship when effectively implemented.