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Thika gridlocked as rains, accident bring town to 6-hour halt.

The traffic situation last night at the town centre where motorists got stuck in the jam for more than 6 hours.
Motorists were last night stuck in a monstrous traffic jam for about 6 hours in Thika following an evening downpour and a consequent accident along the Nairobi-Nyeri Highway near Blue Post Hotel.

Vehicles struggled to get in or out of the town centre leaving hundreds of motorists and commuters stranded with no movement in all the town’s streets and outlets.

The traffic jam worsened after motorists started overlapping, driving on the wrong lanes and seeking alternative ‘panya’ routes, eventually grinding the town to a complete shutdown.

It is understood that the accident near Blue Post occurred when a vehicle slid and overturned due to the wet and slippery road, completely blocking the entire lane. This caused a traffic snarl-up on both sides of the highway, virtually locking vehicles from gaining entry to Thika Town from either the Murang’a side or the flyover near Ngoingwa.

The pounding rain worsened matters as it forced vehicles to slow down with old jalopies stalling on the road, causing more traffic snarl-ups.

Commuters from Nairobi were forced to alight from the PSV vehicles and walk to town from as far as Cravers Inn. Those from Murang’a walked to town from the Del Monte shop near Thika Sports Club with those from Gatanga walking from the Jogoo Kimakia Hotel.

Commuters who operate from the CBD to various estates had a rough time as virtually all matatu termini had no vehicles. Hundreds of commuters had to withstand the light showers till late to board matatus to various destinations.

The matatu crew took advantage of the situation to hike fares with tuktuks and bodaboda operators being the greatest beneficiaries of this mayhem.

Fatigued motorists cut the engines of their vehicles and braved the chilly and rainy night as they waited for the mess to clear up. Some of those stuck in traffic took to social media to vent their frustrations.

“I left the office along Kwame Nkrumah Road at around 6:45pm and it is now some minutes to 8pm the traffic has not moved even in one inch. I am heading to Kenol (Murang’a County) and am not sure whether I will get home before tomorrow,” complained one motorist along Haile Selassie Road somewhere near Klub Liquid Cash.

Some cited Thika Superhighway as one of the one posing serious challenges to Thika Town motorists and commuters. They argued that it has more eight lanes on the outskirts but gets into town on a single lane, thus ‘choking’ traffic into the town.

They hoped that the proposed link roads earmarked for construction in Thika will ease the traffic jams in the near future.

Meanwhile, traffic started to clear up some minutes past 10pm with vehicles moving slowly. 

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