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May 06, 2009

 

 Axle load policy to be effective in Ghana

Accra, May 5, Ghanadot/GNA -Government will enforce the axle load policy to control loading at the ports of entry effective June 1, 2009 in accordance with themWest African Economic and Monetary Union (Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA) regulations 2005.


Mr Joe Gidisu, Minister of Roads and Highways, who announced this
on Tuesday said in accordance with ECOWAS regulations, vehicles would be allowed a maximum height of four metres above the road surface while axle load of 11.5 tonnes would be allowed per single axle with weight varying from 51 tonnes for a maximum for six axle trucks.
Axle load is the maximum weight a vehicle could take in relation
to its wheels.


Mr Gidisu at a press briefing to present the report on some
Ghanaian truck drivers, who were stranded at the Burkina Faso-Niger
border due to overloading, said "In this regard, the Ministry will
hold a stakeholders forum to educate key players in the road transport
industry on the enforcement of the regulation before the end of this
month."


Mr Gidisu said steps would be taken to restore the weighing scales
installed at the Tema and Takoradi ports to full operations as soon as
practicable but in the interim the Ghana Highway Authority will make
available portable weigh bridges at the ports to regulate loading.
He noted that a weighbridge station located at Offinso had been
completed to ensure that any truck moving from Accra or Kumasi on the Accra-Paga corridor could be checked.


The Minister said enforcement activities at Tema and other
stations along the corridor at Yapei and Bolga would be intensified
and height gauges will be made available at all check points.
He therefore called on personnel of the Ghana Police Service to
perform their duties well, adding, "acts of malfeasance will never be
countenanced under any circumstance.government is determined to make all necessary logistical support available."


Mr Gidisu said he headed a delegation to Niger to ascertain the
truth about Ghanaian truck drivers stranded at the borders for
non-compliance to the axle load policy and said a total number of 300
vehicles with about 600 drivers and mates had been arrested at the
Burkina Faso-Niger border.


At the time of the visit, 73 vehicles were left to be processed
with offences varying from overloading to non payment of custom
duties.


He said most of the trucks arrested were from the Tema and
Takoradi ports heading for Niamey and most of the drivers did not
belong to any of the transport associations in Ghana.


"The drivers had difficulty fending for themselves and reaching
their truck owners for assistance," the Minister said and noted that
the delegation travelled by road to enable them to get access to all
the stranded vehicles on the way.


Mr Gidisu expressed concern about the practice where truck drivers
took additional load while in transit and said it was a major draw
back to the axle load control at the ports of entry.


He said after the Ghanaian government delegation had dialogued
with their Nigerien counterparts they agreed that overloading fees
would not be waived and trucks found to be overloaded must settle the commensurate overloading fees before being allowed entry.
Actions will however be expedited on trucks going through custom
and administrative formalities to avoid undue delay.


The Minister advised drivers to ensure that they complied with
the laws to avoid being punished and urged them to join the various
drivers' unions and associations to enable the Ministry to monitor
their programmes.


GNA

 

 

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