JEDDAH: ARAB NEWS
Saturday 11 August 2012
Last Update 11 August 2012 10:11 am
The directorate general of traffic has approved four alternative tracks to be used by people going to or out of Makkah during the Islamic summit conference to be held on August 14-15 (26-27 Ramadan), local daily Okaz reported Friday quoting director general of traffic Maj. Gen. Abdul Rahman Al-Muqbil.
He made it clear that sedans and private cars will not be allowed to come near the Holy Haram. “Pilgrims will be using public transport to go to or out of the Grand Mosque,” he asaid.
Al-Muqbil said people going to Makkah from Jeddah will be using the old Jeddah-Makkah road, which passes through the clock roundabout, Al-Ghazzawi square, Al-Beeban traffic light, Al-Sulaimaniyah tunnel and Al-Qashalah car park. “Pilgrims will only be allowed to use public transport to go to the Grand Mosque while residents of Makkah may use the second ring road to go or out of their homes,” he added. Al-Muqbil said the second route will be dedicated to pilgrims going to Makkah from Taif, Laith and Al-Shimaisi who will have to leave their own private cars at the parking lot near Al-Shimaisi passport checkpoint and take public transport to go to the Grand Mosque. “Pilgrims coming from the southern and western districts of Makkah will have to leave their private cars at Kudai parking lot,” he explained.
The director said pilgrims there will be a third route via Al-Sail (valley) area in Taif where pilgrims will have to abandon their private cars at Al-Sharaie residential district in Makkah and use public transport to go to the Holy Haram. Residents of other residential quarters in Makkah may go the Grand Mosque through Al-Adl (justice) square. They will be parking their cars at the Jamarat area and use public transport to go to the Grand Mosque through Bab Ali tunnel.
Al-Muqbil said the fourth route will be for pilgrims coming from Madinah who will stop their vehicles at Al-Taneem parking lot and use public transport to go to the Grand Mosque.
He said there are a number of substitute roads joining Jeddah with Makkah consisting of Batha Quraish road, Al-Ikaishiyah road, Al-Laith road, Al-Shimaisi bridge and the road being used by the non-believers to avoid entering Makkah.
Al-Muqbil said pilgrims and residents of Makkah will not be able to go through the plazas facing the Guest Palace near the Holy Haram during the Islamic summit especially when the leaders will be going to or from the palaces of Mina and Al-Safa.
The director of traffic asked citizens and expatriates to use the public transport in their journeys to or from the Grand Mosque during the summit. “Let us all cooperate to make the summit a success,” he requested.
Deputy director of general security and commander of the Umrah forces Maj. Gen. Nasser bin Saud Al-Arfaj asked citizens and foreigners to abide by the instructions organizing traffic, prayer and Umrah during the summit.
He said security will be tight during the summit and added that the security plan will start with the arrival of the guest at King Abdul Aziz international Airport until his departure back home.
Al-Arfaj denied that the Jeddah-Makkah Expressway will be closed during the days of the summit and said some tracks of it will be open for the public. “We have decided to use the old Jeddah-Makkah road so as to reduce pressure on the Expressway,” he explained.
Al-Arfaj the area between Al-Safa Palace, where the summit will be held, and the Wakf (endowment) towers will be closed for the public and dedicated only for the use of the official delegates. “The delegates may use mini-buses, private cars or go on foot to cross the distance of 100 meters from the Guest Palace (where they will be staying) to the venue of the summit at Al-Safa Palace,” he said.
Arab News is not responsible for the view points, opinions and actions expressed by online commenters. Individual posts do not reflect Arab News' points of view or opinion, and abusive content will be removed