Gridlock Strategy

Mar 31, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka will have to find ways to improve public transport to reduce the need for private vehicle use to prevent gridlock as vehicle ownership rises with rising incomes, an expert said. “We need a sustained policy because vehicle growth is bound to happen with income growth.” said Amal Kumarage, chairman of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.

“Among the challenges for 2020 is keeping our roads uncongested, which means not just building roads, one-way traffic systems, not keeping a policeman at every junction,” he said.

Rising Incomes

The island now has 3.2 million vehicles which by the end of the decade will reach 5.5 – 6 million vehicles with the anticipated increase in income, said Kumarage, a professor of transportation engineering at the Moratuwa University.

“It means most of the two-wheelers and three-wheelers will be replaced by four-wheelers, needing that much more space on our roads.

“It means doubling the road infrastructure – of lanes coming into Colombo, lanes that serve our houses. It means giving up half your garden,” Kumarage told a transport forum organised by the Shippers’ Academy Colombo.

Sri Lanka’s economic grow