Story: Kwadwo Owusu Aduomi
Tricycle operators in the Ashanti Region have escalated their protest against a directive to restrict their movement in parts of the Central Business District as the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly vows to implement the policy.
The tricycle operators on Wednesday, August 2, took to the streets and blocked a major road leading to Kejetia, causing significant disruptions to traffic and daily activities.
The demonstration is in response to the KMA’s decision to impose a ban on tricycles, commonly known as “pragya” or “aboboyaa,” from operating within the central business district of Kumasi.
The ban came into effect as part of the city’s efforts to address traffic congestion and enhance pedestrian safety in the bustling area.
The tricycle operators, who heavily rely on ferrying passengers and goods within the city centre, voiced their frustration and concerns over the ban. They argued that the decision by the KMA would adversely affect their livelihoods and render many of them jobless.
The tricycle operators are demanding that the KMA reconsider the ban and engage in constructive dialogue with their representatives to find a viable solution that would protect their interests while addressing the city’s traffic challenges.
The blockade of the major road leading to Kejetia caused traffic gridlock, with commuters and motorists caught in the midst of the protest.
Police officers were swiftly dispatched to the scene to manage the situation and ensure public safety.
On Tuesday, August 1, nine tricycle operators were arrested and granted bail when they clashed with some city guards.
The leadership of the Pragya Workers Association of Ghana says the reasons given by the Assembly to restrict their movement are not convincing enough.
In an interview with Citi News, Ayamdago Amadi Dauda, Secretary of the group said, “When you look at the demarcation, they are now clearly sacking us from the Central Business District to the highways for the cars to kill us more. Are they looking for the betterment of Pragya drivers, or what? Because this decision will further expose us to more risk, than their decision to minimise congestion”.
The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) on July 25, began implementing the directive to restrict tricycles from operating within the central business district (CBD) of Kumasi.
The move is intended to help address the congestion issue within the metropolis.
In recent months, the KMA has reiterated its resolve to reorganize transport services provision in the city.
While tricycle riders have expressed strong opposition to the decision, the head of the transport department at KMA, Randy Wilson, has insisted that the assembly remains resolute in implementing the directive to help address congestion in the metropolis.