Sen: No quick fix

THERE are no quick fixes to the issue of congestion faced by the people of Labasa, says Fiji Roads Authority acting chief executive officer Robert Sen.

Mr Sen was responding to concerns raised by some taxidrivers, who claimed congestion problems in Labasa Town led to the loss of business for taxidrivers.

Taxidriver Divendra Reddy claimed the increase in new cars on the roads affected their business.

Mr Reddy claimed the increase in traffic affected their business because frustrated customers would leave and never return to use their services any more.

However, Mr Sen advised the public that traffic congestion was not an isolated issue.

“The traffic congestion issue has been an existing issue and a major contributor to the congestion is the Labasa bus station, which is operating well above its current capacity and as a result there are no quick fixes to the issue of congestion faced by the people of Labasa,” he said.

Mr Sen said to address the issue of congestion, a holistic approach would be needed.

“This should include infrastructure and non-infrastructure solutions such as land use planning, public transport, and traffic management plans,” he said.

“Any strategic plan such as the proposed Labasa back road is only valid from five-15years since its inception and needs to be reviewed, based on the changing dynamics such as economic development, land use patterns, increase in car ownership and people’s wealth.”

Mr Sen said FRA engaged an independent consultant in 2015-2017, who has undertaken four corridor studies, including Labasa.

“As part of the corridor study for Labasa, the consultant has provided their report on bus station and market, town centre capacity and town centre bypass/alternate route.

“The final report has been presented to stakeholders including the Labasa Town Council, the Bus Owners Association, Government and other interested parties for comment,” he said.

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