Police Issues Statement on Westlands Traffic & Matatu Strike

  • Matatus block a section of The Mall roundabout in Westlands on Thursday, May 19, 2022.
    Matatus block a section of The Mall roundabout in Westlands on Thursday, May 19, 2022.
    File
  • The National Police Service (NPS) says the Thursday, May 19, morning traffic disruption in Nairobi's Westlands area was as a result of the road design that displaced matatu operators from their drop off and pick up points.

    In the statement, NPS noted that the public service vehicle operators were aggrieved by the design of the road near the Westlands roundabout that failed to offer them an alternative place to pick up and drop off passengers.

    According to preliminary investigations by the police, the PSVs drop off and pick up point was occupied by the Nairobi Expressway entrance near The Mall, leaving the PSV operators with no space.

    The law enforcement officers noted that the issue was addressed and the congestion cleared.

    Matatus block Westlands Roundabout on Tuesday, May 19, 2022.
    Matatus block Westlands Roundabout on Tuesday, May 19, 2022.
    File

    "Preliminary report indicates that the protesters were aggrieved by what they alleged to have been an interference with their pick up and drop off points along the highway prompted by the new road design in the area.

    "The matatu protesters registered their concerns with respective agencies and the congestion has since been cleared," police stated.

    Police, however, assured other motorists of their protection while plying the route even as the concerns raised by matatu operators are being addressed fully and a lasting solution found.

    "We assure all motorists and other road users that our officers are still on-site working to ensure free flow of traffic and security along the said route," NPS stated.

    Police went ahead to dispel rumours that they were behind the chaos caused by the PSVs.

    The strike affected road users plying Waiyaki Way, forcing motorists to find alternative routes to and from Nairobi's Central Business District.

    The traffic snarl up saw a motorists opt for other routes, with those using the Expressway from Westlands being forced to find other entry points.

    This comes even as the government announced it had allocated Ksh9 billion to the Expressway contractor to rehabilitate sections of the old road that were affected by the construction of the 21-km road.

    The Westlands toll station of the Nairobi Expressway
    The Westlands toll station of the Nairobi Expressway
    File