At least 10 tricycle operators have been arrested after they clashed with city guards as the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) begins the implementation of a ban on the movement of tricycles in the Central Business District (CBD).
There is heavy police and military deployment in the marked-out areas to enforce the ban.
The KMA announced the implementation of the directive to restrict tricycles from operating within the central business district of Kumasi last week.
The move was intended to help address the issue of congestion within the metropolis.
In recent months, the KMA has reiterated its resolve to reorganise 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.
“KMA is supposed to plan and regulate public transport within its area of jurisdiction,” Wilson said, adding, “On April 29, 2023, at a general assembly meeting, it was resolved that the transport reorganization that has been planned should ensure that we have the unstrung stations, the normal union stations that are operating from terminals, the cargo vehicles, and then we also added the tricycles as providers of public transport services.”
“We started engagements with the tricycle operators,” Wilson continued, “Legally, from the traffic regulations 2180, tricycles are not supposed to be used for commercial purposes. So from the national level, it is an illegality.
The city is resting on the fact that the city is becoming congested, so we need to take steps to limit certain activities.”
The KMA had originally planned to implement the directive on June 15, 2023, but it deferred the date to a later date that has not yet been announced.
In an interview with Citi News, the KMA’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Henrietta Afia Konadu Aboagye, said the deferment was necessary due to the ongoing sensitization activities about the directive.
“The directive is not a ban, but a restriction on their movement in the CBD. So we met with their executives on May 9 to let them know that the move was to reduce congestion in the CBD. They asked for some time to speak with their members.”
“We realized that the education took a bit longer, so the directive which was scheduled to take effect on the 15th, cannot take effect. We are still in the process of sensitization,” she said.
The KMA PRO added that the assembly’s transport department and the MTTD would enforce the directive by being present at various checkpoints.
“The recalcitrant ones who will force their way into the CBD will have their vehicles impounded and taken to the Central Police Station or the assembly’s towing site, where they will be fined,” she added.