‘Master Plan’ to ease traffic congestion in Colombo and suburbs
Jan 4, 2014

The Ministry of Transport is formulating an Urban Transport Master Plan for the Colombo metropolitan regions and the suburbs due to traffic congestion problems in these areas.

The feasibility study for this ‘Master Plan’ is done in collaboration with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Speaking to Daily Mirror the Acting Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Transport J.M. Thilakaratna Banda said from the studies that were done last year it was found that the number of vehicles had increased by 8 per cent in the past 12 years in the Western Province with a greater increase in three-wheelers, motorcycles and the private ownership of vehicles.

It was also found from these studies that the public transport services required modernization, with improvements to be made in connectivity, reliability, userfriendliness and quality of transport. In addition it was found that there was a lack of urban strategies and policies to address these issues. Mr. Banda said the Master Plan was formulated by sampling the travel patterns of the citizens from 31,000 houses i n t he Western Province. It analysed the mobility requirements of citizens and traffic forecasting in the future.

Several options had been put forward to address the mobility requirements of the citizens and reduce the congestion problems of the Colombo metropolitan regions and the suburbs under the Master Plan.

Mr. Banda also said a feasibility study under the Transport Master Plan was being conducted to introduce a 25 Km monorail system that would connect from Malabe to Colombo and to Kelaniya.

He further added that a feasibility study to construct a multi-modal transport hub in Pettah was also being done. The multi-modal transport hub if implemented in Pettah would have a monorail station, railway station, bus terminal, i nter-provincial bus terminal, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) station, parking area, taxi area and drop off area.

The greater part of Colombo is well known for its terrible congestion problems. Mr. Banda said the main aim of the Transport Master Plan was to find solutions to these problems and address the immediate long and short-term transport issues for the next 20 years.

The feasibility studies for the Master Plan which commenced on August 2012 is expected to finish in April this year and is being funded by the Japanese government.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka

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