City impounds over 100 kombis

14 Aug, 2014 - 00:08 0 Views
City impounds over 100 kombis

The Herald

Some of the commuter omnibuses that were impounded by Harare City Council for defying a directive to use the Coventry Road holding bay. - (Picture by Tawanda Mudimu)

Some of the commuter omnibuses that were impounded by Harare City Council for defying a directive to use the Coventry Road holding bay. – (Picture by Tawanda Mudimu)

Farai Kuvirimirwa Herald Reporter
Harare City Council has marked roads for use by commuter omnibuses only as they ply from the holding bay along Coventry Road to the Copacabana bus rank in line with trends in other cities around the world where buses use specially dedicated lanes.
This comes as council impounded more than 100 commuter omnibuses between Saturday last week and Tuesday for defying the directive to use the Coventry Road holding bay.

The commuter omnibuses were impounded for operating from undesignated points near the Copacabana bus rank and will be released after 14 days as part of measures to deter operators from breaking the law.

Order has returned to some parts of the city around Chinhoyi Street, which had been congested by commuter omnibuses, forcing other motorists to seek alternative routes as the road was  virtually impassable.

When The Herald crew visited the area yesterday, there was calm and council traffic police officers were manning the rank to ensure order prevailed.
They were calling the commuter omnibuses in batches from the holding bay using inter-communication radios.

From the holding bay, the commuter omnibuses follow the specially designated lane along Rotten Row before turning right into another dedicated lane along Robert Mugabe Road and then right into Cameron Street, which takes them to the bus rank.

After dropping the passengers, the commuter omnibus drivers leave the rank using Cameron Street, before turning left into a designated lane along Jason Moyo Avenue and then left into Rotten Row.

The holding bay is used by commuter omnibuses plying the southern and western suburbs.
Harare city spokesperson Mr Leslie Gwindi said operators would pay storage fees for the 14 days their vehicles were impounded and kept at the city’s stores yard, in addition to the clamping and towing fees.

“We are not going back on this programme and we are doing all we can to ensure compliance,” he said. “We have received positive responses from commuter omnibus operators, commuters and business and so far we are happy with progress and utilisation of the holding bay.”

Mr Gwindi said registration numbers of the impounded kombis have been lodged with the Town Clerk’s office for cross-referencing in future offences.
He said commuter omnibus operators who break the law would have their vehicles deregistered from using Harare routes.

“Whilst at the stores yard, the commuter omnibuses will be vetted for rank discs, Zimra tax certificates and roadworthiness and against previous traffic offences and unpaid traffic tickets,” said Mr Gwindi.

Businesspeople around Copacabana and commuters have welcomed the order that is now prevailing at the rank.
Food World Supermarkets general manager Mr Denford Mutashu said motorists who were afraid of being hit by the commuter omnibuses if they parked to buy from the shop were now frequenting the place.

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