The Sunday News
Robin Muchetu, Senior Reporter
THE motoring public has expressed concern over lack of proper and clear road signage in most of the city’s roads saying the city council should be answerable to some of the accidents that happen.
This comes in the wake of an accident involving motorists who were in transit from neighbouring Botswana en route to Marondera in Mashonaland East province who crashed into an island along Plumtree Road.
Most motorists have lamented the lack of signage and road markings indicating islands and direction saying they were at risk of road accidents as roads were bare and motorists straddle into oncoming traffic lanes that were not marked.
Chairman of the Bulawayo Urban Residents Association (BURA) Mr Winos Dube said the city council lacked the basic courtesy of marking its roads leaving motorists to figure out the way themselves and sometimes going against the traffic flow. He said part of Plumtree Road in Belmont was now an accident hot spot while Khami Road close to Khami Clinic had an island which was not marked.
“That road (Plumtree) needs attention in the form of road signs as there are kerbs that filter out into other roads. There are no signs that direct motorists that the road is changing its course. There is a need for visible indications as to what to expect ahead as one is driving because many accidents are occurring at those places where there are no signs,” he said.
He said the idea where a driver needed to know the road well in order to navigate it should be left to rural areas and not cities like Bulawayo. Mr Chris Mberi, a resident of Bulawayo with business interests around the Belmont industrial area said there were several accidents witnessed on a daily basis along Plumtree Road.
“Most foreign drivers can hardly tell where to go when driving at night. I have watched too many people cutting their journeys short after climbing over kerbs that seemingly appear from nowhere in the middle of the road. Birkenhead, Van Reibeeck and 23rd Avenue are some of the worst. Just a small sign to show where the lanes are will go a long way.
“I have decided, if the city fathers are willing, to assist with some signage for Plumtree Road because, on a daily basis, we witness cars being damaged. This is especially happening to people who are not familiar with Plumtree Road and people coming from Botswana travelling to other areas, they only realise when they have hit the kerb and damaged their vehicles. These are losses that can be prevented if there are clear signs from a distance that the road is intersecting,” said Mr Mberi. Ward six Councillor Tawanda Ruzive who covers areas surrounding Plumtree Road acknowledged the challenge.
“We have realised that challenge particularly along Plumtree Road. That is a trunk road that branches out into other roads. As a council, we cannot run away from road markings and we had agreed that after the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, we are moving to mark Plumtree Road. It is work in progress as we are clearing roads of sand and bushes before marking them,” he said.
He also highlighted that road maintenance for Plumtree Road was under the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development. — @NyembeziMu