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The road-widening undertaking on the Mandela Highway corridor is almost over and the people using this road to commute to work and back or for other commercial purposes like making deliveries etc. are all heaving a sigh of relief. There are cases where, with the new six-lane corridor, commuting times have almost halved from what it used to be previously. Apart from consuming excess time, there were many other issues faced by thousands of Kingston residents who use this stretch on a daily basis. If employees suffered due to more time on the roads, employers too had their share of woes.
Time Spent on the Road Could be Better Utilized
With poor road infrastructure or maintenance work going on, traffic slows down considerably. A commute that should take 30-40 minutes at normal times can take up to 2 hours in such instances. This practically means that a person who has to reach an office or to his or her place of business by 9 am will have to leave much earlier than usual even with their own means of transportation. If they have to rely on public transport, then it is worse. There have been reports of female employees leaving home at 5 am, which could turn out risky if their surroundings are improperly lit. It throws their other routine to chaos, like preparing the home, having breakfast, etc. If one were to calculate the total time spent on the road, up and down, the time wasted could have been put to much better use instead. This fact emphasizes the importance of having good road infrastructure.
The Ill-Effects of Poor and Slow Traffic
Now that the situation is coming to an end, there are a lot of stories emerging of how people suffered silently during this entire period when the Mandela Highway was being expanded. There are employees who say they would reach the office very late due to the slow traffic and would be in a state of physical and mental stress by the time they reached their place of work. It would take time for them to regain their composure and concentrate on their work. More importantly, reaching home late would mean their family and social life will be in ruins. The employers say they found their employees in stressful conditions and could not get the best out of them.
In the end, the savings on fuel costs as a result of the reduction in the time taken to travel in addiction to savings in wear and tear of vehicles will be welcomed by Mandela Highway commuters.