By Ikeugonna Eleke
As Christmas approaches, authorities of the Anambra Road Traffic Maintenance Agency (ARTMA) have banned hawking and loading of vehicles on the Niger Bridge.
The bridge usually experiences huge traffic during Christmas when holiday makers begin to travel back home for the yuletide.
This led to the opening up of the recently constructed Second Niger Bridge, but the traffic on the first bridge is yet to abate.
A press release by the Public Relations Officer of ARTMA, Mrs Nkem Umeadi, stated that the agency had noted that the bridge had become a loading bay for motorists, while hawkers milled around the bridge.
She further stated that passengers who moved around the bridge waiting to catch vehicles there, instead of going to the parks would be arrested.
‘Henceforth, it is an offence for anyone to wait, walk, or trade on the bridge (motorway) except on the pedestrian pathway on the sides of the bridge. Appropriate signs have been installed.
‘All commercial vehicles are henceforth mandated to pick up and drop passengers only in the major park beside Ogbo Abada Market or government-designated parks in the area.
‘Double yellow lines have also been marked on the road in the area. Any commercial vehicle (including shuttles and keke) picking up or dropping passengers anywhere along the express will be impounded for 7 days – strict fines apply,’ she warned.
The release further urged that all commercial vehicles’ doors must be kept closed once outside the park to prevent passengers from entering or alighting at will as officers would be on the lookout for offenders.