Dubai: At any given date or time, heavy traffic is now the norm on the UAE’s busy highways.
However, the daily traffic grind has not gone unnoticed by authorities, who are now willing to consider implementing a traffic toll scheme across the country’s federal roads.
The Federal Authority for Land and Maritime Transport held a workshop on Monday, under the title, 'Studying the federal legislative needs for land transport sector,' in which it received as many as 34 proposals from local government departments on how to regulate traffic in the emirates.
According to the national transport authority, the proposals intended to, “enhance and develop the land transport sector and meet all the legislative needs required for this sector in the country.”
Setting up tariff tolls is not a new concept in the UAE as a means to combat traffic. The Roads and Transport Authority in Dubai installed Salik toll gates in 2008, and since then, has expanded to six locations at Al Barsha, Al Garhoud Bridge, Al Maktoum Bridge, Al Mamzar, Al Safa, Dubai Airport Tunnel.
Some the proposals further received by authorities included the implementation of a traffic toll scheme on federal roads, and making amendments to related traffic rules. The proposals also suggested setting up a national board to oversee the international transport.
Traffic congestion has become a major concern for authorities recently, as it not only costs people time but money, as well.
In 2013, traffic in Dubai cost the economy Dh771,147.388 per kilometre in fuel and time lost.
According to the RTA, Dubai’s economy was set back by Dh2.9 billion in terms of loss in working hours, time and fuel. A simple division of the annual loss with the total length of roads in Dubai, which is 3,760.63 centreline kilometres, shows a loss of Dh771,147.388 per kilometre.
With 1.39 million vehicles registered in Dubai, the traffic cost per vehicle per year amounts to Dh2,086.