By Tata Mbunwe
Traffic lights installed by the council went operational yesterday for the first time in the city of Buea but drivers and road users say the development has rather tripled traffic jam in the city.
Mayor David Mafany Namange inaugurated the traffic lights on Monday, December 21, which he hoped will reduce the queues of vehicles at major junctions in the city.
Talking to MMI, a taxi driver said the lights have rather increased the long queues of vehicles and they drivers are losing more money due to long standing and cueing on streets.
At 9:15 when he spoke to MMI, he said he would pack his taxi and only resume work by 11am when there would be lesser vehicles on the road.
According to Raphael Anongu, who boarded a taxi this morning, he spent an hour in the vehicle before he could reach his destination that was just two miles away.
Many denizens of Buea who spoke to MMI are opting that the traffic lights should be restructured such that green lights last longer than red lights to permit more vehicles pass before the lights turn red.
On Tuesday morning, some road junctions such as Biaka Junction, which rarely witnessed traffic, had high traffic jam and this was likely due to a traffic light installed at the junction.
Buea currently has just a single boulevard that stretches from the Mile 17 motor park, through Molyko to Soppo and other areas, and traffic lights have been placed at four points junctions along this road.
The Buea Council has recently embarked on opening new streets in the city to reduce record rates of traffic witnessed during the past one year.
The council recently voted a 2021 budget of FCFA 2.8 billion with major projects involving the opening of new roads in the town.
During a Municipal Council session this December 15, Mayor David Namange said the traffic jam in Buea has been caused by the influx of IDPs into the municipality.
The four-year Anglophone crisis is still far ending in most enclosed localities of the regions and only urban areas have witnessed uneasy calm for a while now.