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Minister of Transport and Communications Carlos Mesquita is pushing for the speedy implementation of measures to move road freight to the rail system, with a view to mitigating the impact of heavy goods traffic on National Highway Number Four (EN4) – including road degradation, congestion, accidents, increased operational costs for the transport of goods and passengers and environmental problems.
Among the measures identified are the creation of a dry port to function as a buffer zone for better traffic management, the extension of the Ressano Garcia and the Quilómetro Quatro border posts, and improved handling of rail freight at the Port of Maputo.
“This is the best way to reduce truck traffic on the EN4. Bulk ore in particular must be transported on railways, maximising the natural advantages that this type of transport offers,” Carlos Mesquita said on Thursday 8 March at the opening of a transport forum on congestion organised by Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC).
According to the minister, the increase in the number of trucks using the Port of Maputo should be analysed, taking into account that the growth in road freight handled by the port was 36 percent and the increase in rail cargo 134 percent.
“The trend of migration from road to rail has been consolidating. In 2016, 18 percent of the cargo handled at the Port of Maputo was rail cargo, increasing to 26 percent by 2017,” Mesquita said.
According to the minister, congestion, particularly on the EN4, results from increased road freight traffic, to the detriment of alternative modes of transport such as maritime and rail.
For example, in 2017, 52 percent of cargo was transported by rail, 36 percent by road and less than 1 percent by sea, “a reality that we need to reverse if we consider the high costs and other negative consequences of road traffic of goods”, the minister noted.
In the case of EN4, which crosses Matola and flows right into Maputo, the situation becomes worrying, considering that these two cities account for about 80 percent of the 740,000 or so vehicles registered in Mozambique .Source: A Verdade