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Vihiga hoteliers demand removal of rumble strips on highway

The High Court recently directed KeNha to do away with similar road safety features on Thika Road. PHOTO | FILE
The High Court recently directed KeNha to do away with similar road safety features on Thika Road. PHOTO | FILE 

Hoteliers in Vihiga County on Thursday revived demands for removal of rumble strips on the busy Kisumu-Kakamega highway in the wake of a court ruling directing the national highways authority to do away with similar road safety features on Thika Road.

The hotel owners had in July last year protested to the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNha) saying the noise made when vehicles run over the rumble strips scared away their customers, consequently impacting negatively on their business.

The High Court ruling delivered the ruling after an application by Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko.

The hoteliers said KeNha had not addressed their concerns despite a series of correspondents between them. The most affected hotels are in Chavakali, a town that has experienced fast growth since the start of devolution due to its close proximity to county headquarters in Mbale and the availability of land for expansion.

Led by their chairman Mr Henry Asava, the hoteliers said the rumble strips erected at close distance at the fasted growing Chavakali business hub had left them counting losses in cancelled businesses.

The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) Vihiga chapter separately expressed solidarity with the hoteliers and called on KeNha to consider extending the implementation of the High Court ruling to other highways.

KNCCI chief executive officer Geofrey Vukaya said: “Customers who choose to relax in the hotels fail to conduct any meaningful discussions.

Conferences have had to be cancelled making hoteliers lose business. Their complaints should be addressed.”

Mr Asava said the rumble strips should ideally be removed, but added that alternatively the KeNha can convert them into bigger bumps.

In July last year, KeNha regional manager Benjamin Anambo told the Business Daily in an interview that the authority would not heed to demands by the hoteliers.

“Kenha established the rumble strips at Chavakali as a safety measure to both the motorists and other road users.”

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