Sharjah: Motorists commuting to work yesterday morning were in for a treat as the newly opened double-deck road on Al Wahda Street made it easier to commute to Dubai.
"Going to Dubai from Al Nahda was a good experience for a change, and it only took me five minutes to reach Al Qusais when usually it takes about 30 minutes during rush hour," said Abdul Rahim Ahmad.
Motorists commuting from areas further away from the new road, such as near the airport, also saved time.
Even though the journey time within the city has been reduced, residents living closer to the border of Dubai said the new road did not ease the traffic congestion.
One resident, who lives in Abu Shagara, said that he was faced with slow-moving traffic from Sharjah City Centre up to Ansar Mall, and did not find any improvement with the traffic congestion until he passed Al Mulla Plaza in Dubai.
A senior police officer explained that the main hotspots now for traffic congestion during rush hour are at the bridges of King Faisal and Khulafa Al Rashideen, and that it will most likely take more than one week for motorists to get accustomed to the new road.
"It takes about one week for people to know which route to take because now they do not know whether to go up the bridge or to stay driving underneath. There is still a lot of congestion on King Faisal Bridge, and the cars continue to move slowly along Al Khan Bridge during the peak hours from 5 to 9pm," said Lieutenant Colonel Ahmad Bin Darwish, director of Sharjah Anjad Patrol.
Motorists heading back home to Sharjah in the afternoon were faced with heavy traffic once they entered Sharjah and tried to take an exit at the Khulafa Al Rashideen Bridge, which leads towards the industrial areas.
"While going to Sharjah was fine, the exit routes were chaotic. Nothing else has improved and it took me almost 25 minutes to get from the [Khulafa Al Rashideen] bridge to reach the interchange at the end of the road," said Fathi Khalid.
The bottleneck from the new Gold Centre interchange heading towards the industrial areas did not fare any better.