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Fiji Time: 4:08 AM on Friday 25 April

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Traffic congestion challenge

Ana Madigibuli
Thursday, November 22, 2012

INCREASED traffic congestion was a major issue raised at the 11th National Transport Consultation Forum last week.

Fiji National University's Dean of College of Business, Hospitality and Tourism Studies, Doctor Mahendra Reddy said traffic management was increasingly becoming a challenge in a number of developing countries, towns and cities and Fiji was no exception.

Dr Reddy said traffic congestions were not just a menace to those on the streets "but they also impact the overall productivity of our society and are a real threat to our development".

"Apart from increased fuel costs and road fatalities, our inability to deal with this systemically has resulted in an increasing traffic congestion scenario," he said.

"This is adversely affecting travel time, business operating costs, air quality and increased air pollution is affecting public health.

"These problems require modern solutions emphasising efficiency and safety as the primary goals of traffic management."

Dr Reddy said a key factor contributing to the growing problems was the increase in traffic and a lack of commensurate transport infrastructure development.

"The increase in traffic is a direct result of two key factors, which is increase in income and thus increases in the number of private vehicles on the roads," he said.

"And increase in economic activity, thus increase in demand for transport which is a critical factor for conducting business."

He said the increase in traffic provides a number of benefits to the country which was ease and convenience of transportation and ease and convenience in doing business.

"However a large number of traffic also is a cause of a number of problems, these including accidents, loss of life and also loss of earning capacity for households," he said.

Deputy secretary for Works, Transport and Public Utilities Malakai Tadulala said all issues raised by keynote speakers would be considered and the ministry would need to pursue a key resolution for 2013.