Though the width of the Mohammad Bin Zayed Road has almost doubled in three years of expansion, motorists say they spend the same amount of time on the highway as earlier. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Traffic on Mohammad Bin Zayed Road has witnessed no improvement despite massive expansion of the busy highway, motorists say.

A major thoroughfare linking Dubai with Northern Emirates, Mohammad Bin Zayed road serves at least a third of the traffic running between Sharjah and Dubai.

Construction work over the last three years has seen the stretch of the road passing through Sharjah almost double in width, removing bottlenecks.

The last remaining bottleneck was removed on Wednesday, when the authorities added a lane to the highway just after entering Dubai.

However, motorists say they continue to spend the same amount of time on the highway during peak hours as earlier.

“Volume of traffic on both sides of the road has remained the same. In fact, some times I feel the traffic moves slower now. I used to spend at least 90 minutes during evening peak hours for my trip from Bur Dubai to Sharjah, I continue to spend the same time, sometimes, more now,” said Abdul Basit, a regular motorist.

Many motorists stay away from the highway, particularly during morning peak hours, which seem to stretch from 6am to 12 noon.

“There is no end to traffic in the morning, the peak hour seems to have stretched from a couple of hours to at least six hours now. The volume of traffic remains the same until noon, which is really inexplicable. That is the reason I prefer using the Bypass road early in the morning, which is much better,” said Esmail Tameem, another motorist.

The scenario is repeated during evening peak hours on the way back from Dubai, with roads clogged and the tailback stretching all the way to Mirdif City Centre.

“I was very excited, like many others, when they completed the expansion work, but the ground reality hasn’t changed. One can’t do anything other than getting frustrated as all the options running between Dubai and Sharjah are exhausted, there is just no way out,” said Shams Qadir.

What has frustrated motorists more is the fact that all visible bottlenecks on the highway seem to have been removed, but the traffic situation has remained the same, due to an increase in the volume of vehicles.

“I think more people are using Mohammad Bin Zayed Road now or there are simply more cars than the roads can accommodate — the situation is the same all the links between Dubai and Sharjah. I think this will not change unless there is a mass-transit system built between the two emirates,” said Mohammad Farooq.

According to statistics provided by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) an estimated 400,000 vehicles travel between Dubai and Northern Emirates daily, with around 35,000 vehicles entering Dubai per hour in the morning from north.

There was no comment available from Ministry of Public Works, which carried out the highway expansion.