Some motorists have expressed concern over the lack of parking spaces in Blantyre and Limbe which forces many people to park in undesignated roadsides, thereby blocking or narrowing the roads.
Spot checks by Malawi News Agency (Mana) around Blantyre and Limbe established that some motorists are forced to park along the roadsides which in turn narrows the roads, making it difficult for vehicles going into opposite directions to pass each other or causing traffic congestion.
In Blantyre, the stretch of Glyn Jones Road between Sunbird Mount Soche and Standard Bank has clearly designated ‘No Parking’ signs, but the council’s traffic warders are seen collection parking fees from motorists, thereby legalising illegal parking.
Still in Blantyre central business district (CBD), most of the parking spaces have been leased out to corporate, notably financial institutions and Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom), leaving out in the cold other motorists.
During checks in Limbe, motorists were also seen freely parking in undesignated places, especially along the newly rehabilitated Livingstone Avenue, thereby narrowing the purported dual carriage road into a single lane at some points.
One of the motorists, Chris Mbewe, blamed the chaos on the commercial capital’s planning, saying it does not give enough room for expansion.
Blantyre City Council public relations manager Anthony Kasunda admitted in an interview that the council is aware of the growing population of vehicles in the city and the pressure it is exerting on the available parking spaces.
He said the council is exploring public private partnerships (PPPs) to construct multi-storey parking lots. n