Counties

PSV operators threaten to sue over night travel ban

Stranded: Travellers who were destined for Nairobi from Eldoret ponder their next move on January 1, 2018 after reaching the office past noon when booking had been stopped. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NMG
Stranded: Travellers who were destined for Nairobi from Eldoret ponder their next move on January 1, 2018 after reaching the office past noon when booking had been stopped. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NMG 

A section of Public Service Vehicle (PSV) owners based in the North Rift region have threatened to sue the National Transport Service Authority (NTSA) for issuing the night travel ban without consulting them.

They say that the ban greatly affected their operations as they were not given ample time to prepare their clients, thus throwing them into disarray.

According to Mr James Munene, the manager of North Rift Shuttle's Nakuru branch, local PSV operators will move to court before the end of the week.

"We are organising ourselves to go to court because such decisions cannot and should not be one sided. This is the time we collect enough money to renew our licences and pay insurances which we must have in order to operate on the roads," he said Tuesday.

Mr Munene says more than 500 passengers using the North Rift Shuttle were stranded as they had already started their journey by the time NTSA issued the directive.

“Our passengers travelling from Malaba to Nairobi and other places that require a minimum of 7 hours travel were forced to spend their night on the road because the directive was issued after they had begun their journey,” said Mr Munene.

He reckons that NTSA should focus on dealing with individual drivers and companies that have been bending traffic rules.

Road for trucks

Mr Edward Kipng’eno, a shuttle driver, has also urged the government to construct an alternative route to be used by long-distance trailers in order to cut on road carnage along busy highways.

“The government should forget about SGR and concentrate on saving the lives of Kenyans. Let them redirect the money used in constructing that railway to construct a route to be used by trailers,” said Mr Kipng’eno.

Passengers also complained that they were forced to spend more than they had budgeted when they could not travel at night as earlier planned.

Mr James Kamanga, a passenger who planned to travel from Bungoma to Nairobi over the weekend, had his journey cut short in Nakuru due to the ban.

“I had travelled with my wife and a two month-old baby so I was forced to make sleeping arrangements for them. We had a hard time finding a place to sleep considering I am new to this town,” said Mr Kamanga.

Businesspeople affected by the directive feared that their perishable goods would go bad as their stay on the roads was lengthened.

Ms Mary Omondi, who was stranded with her sack of cabbages at the Mololine stage in Nakuru, feared she was staring at losses as the vegetables had been in the sack for hours.