Showing posts with label Fiji roads. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fiji roads. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sorry but...

from w
Promises are made to upgrade the very bad roads across Vanua Levu, but now the not-so-sweet tale of the sugar industry has to be prioritized. Well, that's sad.
from today's Fiji Times.
Road plans shelved

MANEESHA KARAN
Thursday, January 13, 2011

THE Nabouwalu and Dreketi $30-million road upgrade project has been dropped this year. This is according to the Commissioner Northern, Inia Seruiratu. Mr Seruiratu said the action was undertaken to salvage the Fiji Sugar Corporation.

Initially it (road upgrade project) was covered under the FRUP Four project which was expected to begin in 2012 under funding by Asian Development Bank (ADB), he said.

The Government looked at its financial position and had plans to start in 2011 (on the project) and an amount of $30million was allocated for the purpose. But unfortunately because of the problems we encountered with the FSC, the Government now has to find other sources of funds from elsewhere. And that is why the Nabouwalu and Dreketi Roads project funding was dropped so that the FSC could be salvaged.

Labasa Chamber of Commerce president Ashok Karan said it was sad that the project had been dropped.

But the Commissioner Northern has ensured the roads will be worked on, Mr Karan said. Improved road conditions will boost business in the North because we have the pine chip mill and bauxite mine in Bua. It will greatly benefit commuters and encourage tourism.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Same old story about the Labasa roads

from Fiji radio today:
Repair roads in Labasa
Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Road conditions in and around Labasa should be addressed first before more taxi and mini-bus permits are issued. Bus owner Parmod Chand says road users and bus operators in Labasa have to live with bad roads, which is not helping them provide better service. "We as bus operators are expected to run on roads which are no even farm roads, pathetic roads! They’re logging roads! The roads are no good! Hopeless roads! Rubbish roads! And you cannot expect us to run profitable in these kind of roads with so much competition." He says the roads should be repaired for the sake of the traveling public as well as businesses.

Meanwhile, Bus companies in Labasa are protesting about the Land Transport Authority’s proposal to issue more taxi and mini-bus permits.

Chand says Labasa’s economy cannot sustain an increase in the number of taxis and mini-buses.

“We’re simply objecting because of too many taxis. The population of Labasa over the years have gone down. Leases have expired, people have moved out of Vanua Levu and there are excessive taxis, mini-buses and carriers which resort to illegal operation ahead of the buses and when we complain to the LTA, they say they don’t have much manpower and we cannot police all the time and all this.”

The LTA, the bus drivers and all mini-bus and taxi permit applicants will sit next month to discuss the issue.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Driving in Fiji

from w.
Here are some tips about driving in Fiji.

Cars are driven on the left of the road in Fiji. Fiji recognises driving licenses from English speaking countries. Drivers from other countries need an international driving permit. Petrol costs over 2.40 FJD a litre. Taxi drivers do not need to put on seatbelts but the passenger next to him do. (I think so.)

The island of Viti Levu has a main road right around it. But with two names - from Suva clockwise to Lautoka this is called the Queen’s Road. From Suva anti-clockwise to Lautoka it is called the King’s Road. In Vanua Levu there is a good road between Savusavu and Labasa but many of the other roads are unsealed and have many potholes. Many roads on Viti Levu and Vanua Levu often consist of bare rock surfaces, loose rocks, potholes, and stretch of mud.

Although the Queen’s/King’s Road are major roads, they are not highways as in Australia. Some roada have only a single carriageway. Speed humps through the middle of Fijian villages require motorists to drop their speed to about 20 kph. Sometimes cows, goats, horses and poultry wander on the road.

If hiring a car, the best choice is a 4 wheel. The frequency of speed humps and the potholes damages vehicles.

Traffic jams may be experienced in Suva especially if there is a festival or unannounced street parade. We were in a taxi in Victoria Parade behind a lot of stationary vehicles. Peceli told the driver to get into the left lane and nick around a corner to reach our destination near Government Buildings by a different road. We found out later there was a street parade for the Carnegie Library reaching 100 years! The taxi driver should have known this.

It is best to avoid driving at night. Street lighting is poor and a lack of footpaths means that many roads have people walking alongside.

Tropical rain is a hazard for driving because it can be very heavy and visibility can be close to non-existent, so it’s a good idea to pull over and wait out the rain.

Most taxis we have caught have meters so we do know what should be charged. It was usually $4.40 from our flat to the main streets of Suva. Watch out though that you might be taken the long route to somewhere. We had to go from A to B and there was a direct road but we were taken on a grand tour of the posh houses of the Domain in a circle route it seemed. More money for the driver!

However some drivers are very obliging and will stop while you shop for the obligatory gift of yaqona etc. If someone has been very helpful Peceli gives an extra $2 or so and says, ‘Bhaiya, give this to your mother.’

Watch out for bad drivers who may cut you off or try and pass a bus near a curve in the road ,occasionally yell abuse, though most people in Fiji seem to be patient in situations that would cause road rage elsewhere.

We were in a taxi near the hospital in Suva when suddenly a car on the right veered out of a street almost smashing into our taxi. Our driver hurled abuse in a high falsetto voice, and at the next traffic light pulled up alongside the other car, yelling even louder. I said, ‘Hey, calm down. Just write down his number.’ When we were dropped off at the flat I said to him, ‘I will say a prayer for you bhaiya.’ He replied, ‘Thanks. I have been having a very bad day.’

Don’t expect cars and vehicles to be in excellent condition and don’t make a fuss - the drivers/owners are doing their best to make a living. One mini-bus we caught from Navuso back to Suva had a door that swung open at every bend we went around. Don’t worry, it swung back as well.

Buses may be express such as the ones from hotels to hotels. Others stop anywhere someone calls out for it to stop. The story of the Qaloa bus we took from Pacific Harbour to Suva, I described in an earlier posting. It was a long, long trip that afternoon!

And I have written elsewhere about how people are stacked into a bus – five people into a seat that is barely big enough for two. A hundred children in a bus designed for sixty. And the recent bus accidents have been well reported in the Fiji media.