By Olimatou Coker
The vex issue of the acute lack of garages for Gambian commercial vehicles has surfaced again with the Gambia Transport Union calling on the government to make good on its promise to solve the problem.
Addressing a press conference Saturday, Omar Ceesay, the president of the union, disclosed that the lack of garages across the Greater Banjul Area continues to pose huge challenges to the commercial transport sector and called on the government to take action to solve the problem.
“Despite working closely with the Ministry of Lands and the Department of Physical Planning including a survey and allocation places for commercial garage across the Greater Banjul Area nothing much has been heard about that document which is still at the Ministry of Lands,” Ceesay said.
He lamented that currently in the West Coast Region there is only one standard garage for commercial vehicles in Brikama which cannot accommodate commercial vehicles operating in the region.
He however admitted that government has allocated eight sites for garages but they are not located at suitable places, because most of the garages are within the layouts that could only be suitable for the future, but not today.
“The lack of garages sometimes results in commercial drivers parking in public spaces, including along the roads, obstructing traffic and becoming a safety hazard”, he lamented.
He said some of the taxes levied on drivers could be a source of investment for the government to allocate garages.
“Many people are blaming the drivers but it is not our responsibility to provide garages. It is the government’s responsibility,” Ceesay said.