Jeddah: Irfan Mohammed
Published — Friday 15 February 2013
Last update 15 February 2013 12:23 am
The time restriction limiting access of heavy trucks inside Jeddah city limits has given some comfort to residents during peak traffic hours, but it has hampered deliveries to businesses and reduced productivity.
While Riyadh implemented a similar heavy truck ban last year, business owners say the Jeddah ban impacts the entire Kingdom. Jeddah is largest port city in the Kingdom with arrivals of about 4,600 containers every day to Red Sea Port. All containers are required to be transported through heavy trucks inside Jeddah’s city limits city and other cities Kingdom-wide. Deliveries are delayed to other cities because of the Jeddah ban.
The restriction bans heavy vehicles from driving into the city on week days from 6 to 9 a.m. noon to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. On Thursday and Friday the ban is in effect from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Jeddah Governor Prince Meshal bin Majed ordered easing traffic congestion inside the city and regulate the timing for entry of heavy vehicles. Accordingly, authorities have begun enforcing the ban during peak traffic hours, which in the past had not been enforced.
Residents say they are relieved with reduced traffic.
Gassad, a Sri Lankan driver working for a courier agency, said that since enforcement he can deliver more parcels.
Mohammed Mustafa, an Indian working for a Saudi family, told Arab News that he can drive in comfort with less traffic congestion.
Traffic police personnel are stationed in 28 exits and entrance points of the city. The majority of entry points are along Haramain Highway, which is prime entry and exit point for Jeddah city. Authorities have formed committee of 10 government departments and semi-government organizations to implement and oversee the ban.
However, the ban is causing business owners who depend on daily deliveries problems.
An executive of a leading construction material company in Jeddah told Arab News that the number of concrete mixer trucks have been reduced to half since the implementation of the ban.
The goods transportation between Yanbu, Madinah, Riyadh, Dammam, Taif, Abha, Jizan is adversely affected because Jeddah-based companies transporting their products and goods to various cities in Kingdom are forced to re-draw their logistic plans.
Business managers say their drivers being kept idle for almost half day, which affects productivity.
Ronalfo Lunasin, a Filipino driver, said that after completing one long trip he would have preferred to go to nearby towns, such as Taif, to earn more trip allowance. But now he must wait hours together part of entry ban rule he can’t able take another trip.