Qatar studying solutions to traffic problems
A committee set up to look into the traffic situation in Qatar has recommended restricting the issuance of driving licences to specific categories of expatriates.
Other recommendations by the joint committee from the Advisory Council, the Ministry of Interior , the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Urban Planning and Public Works Authority (Ashghal) included building multi-storey car parks, encouraging the use of public transport and school buses instead of private cars, a new geographic distribution of schools and re-locating commercial activities outside the capital Doha.
A new approach to building flyovers and roads should also be considered with input from the Qatar association of architects, the committee said, local Arabic daily Al Raya reported on Tuesday.
Drivers in Qatar have been regularly complaining about the traffic jams and bottlenecks they have to endure in Doha as the country’s infrastructure is undergoing a huge transformation. Officials attribute the traffic situation to an explosion in the number of people and vehicles on the roads, the high number of roundabouts, a uniform timing for all government offices that results in rush hours and the location of government ministries and facilities in the same area. The interior ministry said that it supported a two-pronged approach to ease traffic pressure that included sending out several patrols to bottlenecks and reducing the number of people who could apply for a driving licence. “Our efforts have reduced the number of fatal accidents from 300 to 250 and the number of injured pedestrians by 17 per cent,” a ministry official said.
The ministry also set up radars every five kilometres and sought to find adequate solutions for the 138 bottlenecks identified in the capital, he said.
According to the ministry figures, 876,000 cars, 1,533 school buses and 153 public buses use the roads and highways in Qatar every day, the ministry said. Officials from the municipality ministry said that the unexpected increase in the number of people in Qatar to 1.2 million has put extra pressure on the country. They suggested introducing a flexible timing and dividing work into two shifts to help deal with the situation. The transport development strategy for 2026–2030 should be based on a projection of three million people living in Qatar, they said.