The impact of traffic congestion on the economic development in Buea municipality
|TRANSPORT AND LOGISTICS|
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This work has the main objective to investigate the impact of traffic congestion on economic development in Buea Municipality. A descriptive survey research design was implemented and Data was collected from 100 respondents or participants from the population in Buea Municipality through a self-administered questionnaire which was established using Likert scale of five points.
Data was analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences 21 Version for descriptive statistics and Pearson correlation analysis was further used to estimate the parameters of reliability and validity of the relationship between traffic congestion and economic development in Buea Municipality.
Furthermore, this analysis was adopted to test the hypothesis using 5% level of significance. Our finding shows that traffic congestion was significant at 5% level of significance. In addition to that, 5% change in the independent variables will lead to a positive change in the same amount of economic development in Buea Municipality.
It was therefore recommended that Based on the above findings, the following recommendations were made; More streets should be constructed within the town, taxi trop up and, pick up points should be created, Pedestrian space should be created, traffic light and other road signs should be located, road order of movement should be maintained and obsolesce cars should go off-road.
Keywords: Traffic Congestion, Economic Development
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Traffic congestion has been a critical challenge in many cities across the world. It engenders a range of undesirable consequences that include negative economic impacts and environmental pollution (Rao, 2012). Many South African cities suffer from this challenge. Particularly, the central business districts (CBD) of a number of large and medium cities of the country are observed to be affected by the congestion challenges during different periods of the day. Kimberley city of Northern Cape Province of the country is a typical; example. The city, because of its unique physical, spatial, road network, economic characteristics, and requirement of mobility of heavy vehicles in addition to the normal city traffic experience critical traffic congestion challenge in its CBD area, particularly during the peak hours. Consequently, issues such as loss of economic benefits because of increase of travel times of vehicles in mining activities, delay in travel and change of travel pattern of local people for day to day activities, environmental pollution, and higher consumption of fuel and anxiety of people to travel top CBD area during business hours have emerged (Rao, 2012).
In addition, experiences of different policy interventions such as creation of additional road infrastructure, Travel Demand Management measures, reinforcement of public transportation system, congestion pricing, encouragement of non-motorised transportation system, limiting parking facilities, etc., which have been tried in different cities of the world suggest that, these solutions have met mixed successes. Besides, they require creation of infrastructure, enforcement of certain constraints and restrictive measures and change in mobility behaviour, which is sometimes unacceptable by people and also incurs huge investment,
making such projects economically unsustainable and socially unacceptable. This warrants acceptable and cost effective remedial measures to alleviate the traffic congestion challenges in the city (Sorensen et al., 2008;). However, before evolving remedial interventions, it is necessary to assess the level of traffic congestion and reasons thereof; understand the perspective influence of the solutions that could assist in evolving strategies to meet the challenges (Sorensen et al., 2008;). Therefore, the objective of this paper is to explore the causes and degree of traffic congestion on the roads in and around the CBD area; and examine the impact of plausible re-engineering measures to alleviate the challenge.
Furthermore. Transport is one of the key sectors of the economy. It plays a vital role in the daily activities of economic development. It serves as a catalyst in production, as it facilitates the movement of inputs to production points and evacuates products for storage or marketing. Its role is essential for all aspects of the social and economic life of society (T.Goyal, et al, 2011). Transportation, especially road transport, is a basic necessity for people after lunch and shelter.
Notwithstanding, with an efficient, safe and affordable transport system that offers the option of different modes of transport, accessibility to basic needs can be improved; many costs can be saved; productivity can be increased; and thus human and economic development can be improved. In addition, the reduction of pollution, the reduction of necessary transport spaces and the improvement of road safety lead to an improvement in the quality of life (Robin and Wytse, 2011).
However, Pacione et al.; (2005) argued that inefficient and inefficient transport systems significantly limit economic development, social opportunities and social interactions. Access to affordable and good quality public transport is essential for the urban population, since its absence generates economic, social and physical isolation (Department of International Development, 1999). The problem seems to affect low-income communities in suburban areas with inadequate access to public transport and other basic urban infrastructure (Hine, Olvera et al, 2003). In general,
transportation is essential for development because, without physical access to resources and markets, health, education and other social services; quality of life suffers, growth stagnates and poverty reduction cannot be maintained. Motorized transport, with its corresponding negative impacts, contributes greatly to creating an imbalance between the three aspects of sustainable development: economic growth, social progress and environmental protection (Robin and Wytse, 2011).
In a nutshell, a case in Lagos is one of the largest industrial, commercial and public administrative centers in Nigeria; host many offices of many ministries and departments, private sectors and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Nigeria generates more than 40% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of countries and contributes 80% of domestic revenues to national governments. Therefore, it remains the center of all economic, social and political activities; locally and internationally, and as such it remains the center of all kinds of paraphernalia and is the most populous and busiest city in the country (Setebe, 1994).
In addition to that, population growth, urbanization and family income that create a greater propensity to travel; marked increase in car ownership; and the increase in commercial and industrial activity has in turn led to an increase in the demand for car transport (Oni, 1999: UN, 2011). However, this increase does not correspond to the expansion of the physical infrastructure of the city, which is one of the essential facilities for the establishment of an adequate and efficient transport system. If roads become impractical due to lack of facilities to allow vehicles to circulate efficiently, the most notable effects are traffic jams. The consequence of these bottlenecks is the inefficient and inefficient use of material and human resources in particular.
Mobility is crucial to functionality of cities as it affects their socio-economic activities. It is also a fact that the economic development of a nation is closely linked to its transport system. Hindrance to effective mobility is road traffic congestion, which the World Bank (1999) stated that it constitutes about 54.5% of
all noticeable urban transport externalities. This is as a result of the ever increasing urbanization, human activities and the resultant heavy dependence on road transportation that warrants increase in the number of vehicles, of different categories, on the road. Of interest also is the difficulty of movements on inter-city roads and other major corridors due largely to obstructions such as traffic crashes, broken down vehicles or certain land use activities located along these corridors or sheer traffic volume exceeding the road network capacity during festive seasons and some other major activities.
The demand for transport especially in cities of developing countries has been on the increase following the rapid socio-economic growth and development of these countries. For instance, the rate of motor vehicle ownership and use is growing faster than population in many places, with the vehicle ownership growth rates rising to 15 to 20 percent per year. (Odeleye 2008). Traffic management has been quite poor in many developing countries, despite the growth in transport demand and supply. The resultant traffic congestion has become impediment to our livability. Road traffic congestion, according to Goodwin (1997) can be defined as the impedance vehicles impose on each other, due to the speed-flow relationship, in conditions where the use of a transport system approaches its capacity. Banjo (1984), also defined congestion as the saturation of road network capacity due to regular and irregular reductions in service quality exemplified by increased travel times, variation in travel times and interrupted travel. Olagunju (2011) simply described road traffic congestion as a disproportion between the inflow and the outflow of vehicles into and out of a particular space. This is also in line with Ogunsanya (2002) conceptualization of road traffic congestion as a situation when urban road network could no longer accommodate the volume of traffic on it.
This papers looks at the causes of congestion and mitigation strategies with focus on developing countries and Cameroon as a mirror, using South-west region, the
nation‟s economic nerve center and one major corridor of Buea Municipality as case studies.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Buea is an axis of Cameroon economy, road traffic congestion is a headache and a burning problem for public and private institutions; and the inhabitants of the city in general. Congestion in the city is associated with an increase in vehicle queues and poor accessibility to work and homes, especially in the morning and afternoon hours.
Serious traffic congestion is observable between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. (the time that most workers go to their workplaces), the hours between 12:30 and 2:00 p.m. lunch breaks) and the hours between 03:00 and 08:00 p. m. Based on these facts, it can be established that the majority of workers and people in the general report very late in their work stations, such as offices, markets, schools and hospitals.
This means that some may report on time, although very tired and stressed, and others may not. Others face the problem of a few hours of sleep due to early awakening and late sleep, wasted time in queues, overtime work and a few hours to rest at home after work.
The loss of time off road vehicles due to traffic congestion is determined based on more or less estimated queue lengths, congestion periods and average queue speed (Hansen, 2000). It is clear that people in Cameroon spent more time in traffic queues than in other transactions.
In general, transportation in Nigeria is chaotic, inefficient, unreliable and dangerous. It negatively affects society, especially the urban poor, through loss of productivity, inhibiting human development and reducing the quality of life. It is said that all these complications and problems that most employees and people in the general public encounter in varying degrees and circumstances are directly associated with the congestion of existing road traffic.
However, its economic impact remains largely unknown and is probably not well documented, so to speak. Consequently, the objective of this research was to
examine the impact of traffic congestion on economic development in Cameroon specifically Buea Municipality.
The discussed background and problem formulation lead us to the following research questions. The main research question is thus, “what is the impact of traffic congestion on economic development in Buea Municipality?
Specific Research Questions
What is the relationship between traffic congestion and economic development?
What are the problems caused by road traffic congestion that affects economic development?
What are the policies to be put in place to reduce road traffic congestion?
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to assess the impact of traffic congestion on economic development in Buea Municipality.
To determine the relationship between the existing road traffic congestion and economic development.
To examine the problems caused by the traffic congestion that affect economic development.
To identify policies that may be put in place to reduce road traffic congestion.
HYPOTHESIS OF THE STUDY
The hypothesis of this study is stated in null form as:
Ho: Traffic congestion has no significant effect on economic development in Buea Municipality.
H1: Traffic congestion has a significant effect on economic development in Buea Municipality.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY.
It is clear and obvious that road congestion is a resounding phenomenon, a hot topic for the inhabitants of all cadres in Buea Municipality. This is because every person who lives, works or even visits the city is affected or affected differently by existing traffic jams, leaving aside the general impact on the job performance of Buea. This research work was to show how road congestion affected economic development in Buea Municipality which some of the importance are:
It is important to the Municipality of Buea on the occasions of building more roads in the expansion of the town.
It is important to the business people on their different operations of activities. It gives the business people when to go to work and comes back.
This research is important to the government in the developmental project on how to achieve economic development in the region.
The study is important to the road riders on how to manage the entire road in the city and also in the transportation to goods.
It is important to the researcher itself as an increase in academic knowledge to the achievement of BSc degree in Logistics and Transport Management
It is as well important to the institution itself for library purposes as a leeway for further research.