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Kidero does U-turn over city highway roundabouts

Nairobi governor Evans Kidero on Tuesday succumbed to pressure from motorists and ordered the barriers blocking two roundabouts removed.

However, Dr Kidero said the barriers blocking motorists from turning right at Bunyala Road/Uhuru Highway roundabout and Lusaka/Lang’ata Roads roundabout will only be removed until Friday, when the Southern by-pass will be reopened.

All the heavy commercial vehicles are supposed to use the by-pass, which is under construction and so they are forced to use Uhuru Highway, compounding the traffic jam.

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Through social media, motorists have been piling pressure on City Hall to remove drums blocking the roundabouts saying the Dr Kidero-led government had failed in its attempt to deal with traffic jams.

“These Kidero drums don’t work. Total grid lock on Msa Rd plus feeder roads in South C,” one of the complainant said via Twitter handle @Ma3Route.

CALL FOR PATIENCE

But the Governor called for patience. He said motorists have complained of persistent traffic gridlock due to the closure of the Southern By-pass.

The new traffic plan led to the barricading of five main roundabouts along Mombasa Road, Uhuru Highway and Waiyaki Way to prevent motorists from turning right.

On Tuesday Dr Kidero said the other affected roundabouts, including that of Westlands and the Old Nation ones will remain closed.

He said 30 per cent of the vehicles on Uhuru Highway were trailers which are supposed to use the Southern By-pass.

He was speaking at City Hall accompanied by Acting Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia.

The minister announced that the Southern Bypass will be reopened on Friday.

Dr Macharia said the contractor was working 14 hours to ensure the bypass is completed on time.

He said the national government was committed to finding a lasting solution to the traffic crisis in the city but urged Kenyans to obey traffic rules.

Dr Kidero stated that the plan to remove five main roundabouts and replace them with intersections will still continue.

“We are just reviewing strategy and tweaking plans but the plan is on,” he said.

The Nairobi Governor added that work on complete removal of the roundabouts will begin in 10 days in a project that will cost Sh388 million.