National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) has told leaders in Nakuru County to stop politicizing the construction of a lorry parking bay that is to be put up at Salgaa trading center along the Nakuru-Eldoret Highway.
NTSA Chairman, Lee Kinyanjui said the parking bay projected to have a capacity of 200 lorries which was to be constructed last year did not take off due to differences between local leaders and area residents.
He further said the multi-million lorry parking bay was to be constructed by the Kenya National Highways Authority (KENHA) in conjunction with the Nakuru County Government and other funders but could not start due to disagreements on where it was to be constructed.
“The parking bay was to specifically accommodate tankers in order to avoid the current congestion being experienced at Salgaa trading centre and reduce the risk of members of the public being exposed to eventualities of fire”, the NTSA boss said.
While reacting to the accidents which claimed seven lives at the Salgaa black sport on December 31 and January 1st, the Authority Chairman said that the parking bay was aimed at reducing congestion and accidents at the Salgaa trading centre.
He told area leaders to stop politicizing the project because the construction of a lorry park under the defunct Nakuru county council stalled due to politics, adding that the way in which tankers are parked at Salgaa cannot be allowed to continue as the parking bay is located very close to residential areas.
Kinyanjui however, said that the relevant authorities are in the process of earmarking a site where a large parking bay will be located off the road because trailers and trucks require a huge turning angle to park.
He also urged the relevant authorities to curb the sprouting of many entertainment joints at Salgaa trading centre which is situated along the Highway and accused drivers along the 12 Km Salgaa stretch of speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol.
“Accidents along the stretch are caused by ignorant drivers who use the climbing lane while descending from Kibunja trading center. Speeding, reckless driving and driving under the influence of alcohol are some of the major causes of accidents in the area”, he said.
By Esther Mwangi