The Preah Sihanouk administration is considering prohibiting heavy trucks from entering the province’s urban areas, particularly Sihanoukville, in the wake of worsening congestion as a consequence of rapid population growth and the increasing number of vehicles, its spokesperson Kheang Phearum said on Tuesday.
“We are considering to prohibit those trucks from entering Sihanoukville at certain times in the day and evening. An official statement in regard to this matter will be issued very soon,” he said.
To support the upcoming regulation, Phearum noted that the authority would prepare a designated location on the outskirts of the city for the trucks to park.
“Then we [would] have smaller vehicles weighing under five tonnes to transport the goods into the city.”
The authorities and civil society organisations have been suggesting that the traffic in Sihanoukville had worsened after the coastal province was established as one of the country’s special economic zones, resulting in a drastic increase of foreigners investing, working and settling there.
Similarly, Phearum suggested that the increasing number of vehicles in the province had fuelled traffic congestion on the province’s urban streets, which at the same time are badly damaged by the trucks transporting materials to and from high-rise construction sites.
He also stressed that some road users who didn’t abide by the traffic regulations contributed to the problems.
“A majority of people would like to go ahead, so they compete for the road without giving priority for others which leads to traffic congestion.”
However, Phearum noted that the provincial authority had pushed for repairs of main streets in the urban areas.
“Some of the streets have been repaired, while others are still in the works and will see completion very soon. After this, traffic congestions in the city will be reduced,” he said.
During a meeting held last week to address traffic issues in and around Sihanoukville, provincial police and the department of public works disclosed a report indicating that the worst congestions tended to occur on National Road 4, spanning nearly 6km at times.
The same report indicated that most traffic congestion occurred in the evening and are especially bad on Fridays and the weekends.
Besides National Road 4, other areas prone to heavy congestion on a daily basis include Klaing Leu market, Phsar Leu market, Peanichakam market, Ekareach (Independence) street, LV street, Old Concert Hall street, as well as Ou I-III streets.
Phearum said there are currently over 200,000 people – around 40,000 of whom are Chinese nationals – living in Preah Sihanouk province, whereas three years ago, only half of the number called the province home.