By Kanakulya S. Galiwango
KAMPALA, Uganda: Represented by the State Minister for Transport Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala at the launch of the Roads Act 2019 at the ministry Headquarters yesterday, the Minister for Works and Transport Hon. Monica Azuba Ntege said the Act takes a holistic approach to the regulation of the planning, designing, construction and maintenance of roads in the country.
Minister Azuba Says over the years, there has been tremendous increase in the size of the road network and traffic volumes. In addition, innovative technologies have been introduced and implemented in the road sector, while the institutional framework for road management has changed. According to Azuba, the Roads Act 2019 replaces the Roads Act, Cap 358, Volume 13 of 1949 and the Access to Roads Act Cap 350, Volume 13 of 1969.
The two laws which were enacted to provide for the maintenance of roads, establishment of road reserves and access to roads by adjoining land owners had become out-dated and obsolete, and no longer relevant for the effective and efficient planning, designing, construction and maintenance of the roads network, Katumba observed.
The Roads Act 2019, came into force on 25th September, 2019 when it was published in the Uganda Gazette after it was passed by Parliament on 16th May, 2019 and assented to by His Excellency the President on 4th September, 2019.
The key features of the Roads Act, 2019 include:
Road works will only be executed by road authorities appointed by the Minister responsible for roads
Introduction of road tolls to attract private sector investments through Public Private Partnerships;
Harmonisation of the Roads Act, 2019 with the East African Axle Load Control Act, 2016;
Introduction of road side stations to provide for parking, rest areas and washrooms for travellers;
Harmonisation of plans for roads with the National Physical Plan;
Road reserves are no longer limited to 15 metres but will be defined for different classes of roads by the minister responsible for roads;
Any land to be acquired for construction of roads will be fully paid for before commencement of works as stipulated by the Constitution;
The procedure for classification and reclassification of roads has been defined in the act;
Introduction of a penalty for contractors who construct roads that do not meet the set standards (commonly referred to as shoddy work);
Introduction of penalties for those who spill oil, litter, burn substances (e.g tyres) and dry food stuffs on the road;
Control of points of access to public roads;
Introduction of pedestrian walkways and cycle lanes on public roads as part of the road safety measures; and… Introduction of an environment section to mainstream cross cutting issues of gender, HIV/AIDS, occupational safety and health in the planning, design, construction and maintenance of roads.
Minister Katumba Wamala Saluted the President Yoweri Museveni, his Cabinet, Parliament, Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and all key stakeholders for their efforts towards the formulation of the Roads Act, 2019.
He called upon Ugandans to familiarise themselves with this law as it affects our day to day usage of public roads. He also thanked and commended Ministry of Works Permanent Secretary Mr. Bageya Waiswa, the Engineer-in-Chief and his team, and the senior staff of Uganda National Roads Authority for their tireless effort in the formulation of the Act.
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