Freeway ban hitting city businesses hard
By ANGELINE KARIUS
TRUCKING companies in Port Moresby reported yesterday that the move to stop heavy trucks using the Poreporena Freeway had adversely affected their operations, The National reports.
Several firms had told business clients they would discontinue services until an alternate route, free of obstacles, was found.
Representatives from trucking companies confirmed yesterday that most of their operations were affected as a result of the ban.
Deputy police commissioner and operations commander Fred Yakasa last week issued the ban following a spate of fatal accidents on the steep incline where drivers of heavy vehicles had lost control or where brakes had failed.
Most company representatives met with NCD traffic police after responding to a letter by Chief Sgt Philip Koliadi that measures would be taken according to the directive issued by Yakasa.
The letter, dated May 30, stated that NCD traffic division would carry out the awareness and enforce the ban by diverting all motor vehicles considered heavy or carrying loads.
The ban had meant diverting heavy trucks through the central business district creating considerable traffic congestion.
According to Koliadi, most (companies) said that alternate routes suggested including Gerehu to Baruni, 2-Mile and Kilakila were too long or the roads were in such bad condition.
He said the ban might force companies to increase their fleets and volume of goods transported.
“These could pose potential road hazards to public safety due to most residential houses along the 2-Mile and Kilakila roads while Gerehu and Baruni could prove vulnerable to criminal elements,” he said.
Koliadi said other factors needed looking into included driver inexperience and inattentiveness, overloading and vehicle defects (brake failure).
A meeting between all relevant transport stakeholders would be held today and would include Department of Transport, NCDC and police.
Physical inspections on the road showed a number of heavy vehicles was still using the freeway but a greater number was going through 2-Mile.
Motor Vehicle Insurance Ltd (MVIL) director Dr John Mua said the bottom line for the ban was to save lives.
He said police had the authority to impose the ban.
He said MVIL was committed to paying compensation but had taken proactive actions to promote safety.
“The highest payment in compensation per annum was K24 million,” he said.