Sri Lanka to introduce separate bus lanes to ease traffic jams
Dec 22, 2016 16:15 PM GMT+0530 | 4 Comment(s)
ECONOMYNEXT –Separate lanes for public buses will be introduced in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo next year among plans to ease traffic jams which have reduced vehicle speeds to 8 kilometers an hour, the Finance Ministry said.
Two new roads will be built along with a new Light Rail Transit (LRT) system and extension of existing rail lines to help cope with the flood of vehicles clogging the roads, it said in a statement.
The number of vehicles in the island had almost doubled since the ethnic war ended in 2009 with vehicle speeds within Colombo, which was between 40 to 60 km an hour in 1980, now down to 8 kmph.
“It is predicted that this speed limit will further be reduced to 6 kmph by 2020. The main reason for this is the increasing number of vehicles on public roads,” the statement said.
It said 250,000 vehicles enter Colombo city daily with this number increasing by 25,000 annually.
The Finance Ministry said under a mechanism proposed in Budget 2017 to streamline public bus service within city limits, Colombo Municipal Council, in collaboration with Road Development Authority will introduce separate lanes for public buses.
Plans are ready to launch the construction of two new roads, one between New Kelani Bridge and Athurugiriya, and the second road between Kelani Bridge and Colombo Port next year, it said.
The planned LRT will cover the main suburbs including Borella, Kottawa, Battaramulla, Kaduwela, Maradana, Mattakkuliya, Peliyagoda, Dematagoda, Kadawatha, Bambalapitiya and Kirullapane.
Another project will be launched to upgrade the existing railway lines in order to reduce the number of buses entering the city. The Kelani Valley Railway line will be extended up to Rathnapura and an additional line will be constructed between Polgahawela and Kurunegala.
The ministry said the total vehicle population in Sri Lanka, which was 3,390,993 in 2008, had risen to 6,302,141 in 2015.
(COLOMBO, Dec 22, 2016)