Bus lane on Al Khaleej Street street has cause traffic congestion rather than improving the situation in Deira Image Credit: Arshad Ali/Gulf News

Dubai: Dedicated bus and taxi lanes have helped solve traffic woes in several areas in Dubai, but not so in Sabkha, where the traffic situation seems to have worsened.

Sabkha, a congested and crowded central business district of Dubai, attracts thousands of people every day for work, shopping and tours, making movement of traffic near impossible.

The Roads and Transport Authority’s (RTA) introduction of a dedicated bus lane was an attempt to ease the situation, following its success on Naif Street, which leads towards Sabkha Street, however, it seems to have backfired.

“The lane was added to the road after removing the parking spaces, however, at the point where Sabkha Street meets Khaleej Street the tracks, including the dedicated bus lane, converge into two, causing a bottleneck,” said Mohammad Sajid, who runs a garment business in the area.

Despite repeated requests an RTA official did not comment on the situation in Sabkha.

According to residents and business people in the area, the additional lane for buses and taxis has also obliterated more than a dozen parking spaces.

“As it is there are limited parking spaces here and we have a tough time finding a slot, I don’t think it was wise to remove more than a dozen spaces and add a track, which didn’t ease traffic. The bottleneck actually causes more congestion now as buses and taxis are forced to enter the adjacent lanes as the road ends,” said Lazardo Obuya, an African businessman.

Dedicated bus lanes were first introduced in Dubai in May 2010, offering a great respite for bus commuters on Mankhool Street, Khalid Bin Al Waleed Street and Khaleej Street. A marked improvement in mobility and punctuality of buses was seen.

In 2011 the project was expanded to other areas such as Naif and Al Ittihad Street, while a few more roads including Al Mina Street and Sabkha Street were added to the network last year.