KeNHA, NTSA seek to enhance convenience for Kenyan motorists through Roadside stations

Timothy Albrite

Kenyans will soon bid farewell to ‘bush solutions’ when nature calls unexpectedly along the highways thanks to the bold initiative of government agencies to introduce roadside stations equipped with essential amenities. This initiative will also boost road safety by providing the much-needed rest areas and parking facilities along the highways minimizing fatigue-related road incidents.

The National Road Safety Policy 2023-2027 developed by NTSA includes the development of a National Roadside Stations and Amenities Policy.

The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) has also published laws that suggest a raft of charges for private developers who will be setting up and operating the stations.

There are proposed roadside stations along major highways that will offer services such as restrooms, accommodation, parking and catering for thousands of road users.

These proposed stations, strategically positioned along major highways, are envisioned to offer a wide array of services catering to the needs of thousands of road users. From restrooms and accommodation to parking and catering facilities, these stations are poised to provide essential amenities crucial for safe and comfortable travel.

Crucially, the location of these roadside stations will be carefully determined, with a maximum distance of 600 meters from the road ensuring accessibility and convenience for travelers. Factors such as demand, land availability, and the amenities to be provided will dictate the spacing between these stations. This strategic placement is in direct response to a high court decision mandating the government to formulate a policy guiding the provision of sanitation facilities along the highways.

Presently, fuel stations scattered along major highways serve as de facto roadside stations, offering basic amenities such as food and restroom facilities. However, the proposed regulations aim to elevate the standards of these stations, ensuring they meet minimum requirements such as hand washing points, clean and adequate sanitation facilities, emergency response services, and garbage disposal points.

Under the proposed framework, KeNHA will take the lead in constructing some stations independently or in collaboration with private investors. Others will be solely developed and operated by private investors, either on their own land or on land leased from the government.

This ambitious initiative is not only geared towards enhancing road safety but also holds the promise of generating new revenue streams for the government. The authority will issue annual roadside station access and operation licenses to operators, facilitating regulatory compliance and accountability.

The draft proposals are now open for public participation, underscoring the government’s commitment to transparency and inclusivity in policymaking. This marks a pivotal moment in Kenya’s journey towards bolstering road safety infrastructure and ensuring the well-being of all road users.

The development of roadside stations represents a bold step forward in Kenya’s efforts to enhance road safety and infrastructure. By aligning with international standards and fostering collaboration between the public and private sectors, Kenya is poised to create safer, more efficient road networks that benefit all citizens.

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