The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport of Nigeria (CILTN) has called on Federal Government to streamline the maintenance of road and rail infrastructure in the country to prevent occasional mishaps and carnages such as experienced in Ikeja, Lagos during the collision of a train and bus at an intersection.
CILT Nigeria stated that in line with international best practices, it is compulsory that the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) provides and maintains rail-specific infrastructure such as barriers, gate houses, rails and level crossings with adequate signage and audio warnings to alert motor vehicles on the approach of locomotives especially at intersections.
CILT Nigeria President, Barr Mrs Mfon Usoro stated this while commiserating with the families of victims of the BRT-train collision in Ikeja, Thursday, which claimed six lives with many passengers suffering various degrees of injury.
According to her in a statement, Road transport infrastructure ,are designed, constructed and maintained by a public service system separate from the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) which owns and maintains rail tracks and operates the trains. Therefore, some level of delineation measures must be on ground to avoid collision and loss of lives.
To forestall such occurrence, going forward, CILTN recommends a clear demarcation of responsibilities and efficient coordination between the road authority and the rail authority in managing intersections in the short term.
“The party responsible for funding safe operations of the rail infrastructure should be revisited. The present system of shared financial responsibility for the provision, manning and maintenance of the safety of infrastructure at intersections, CILTN observed, appears cumbersome and leaves room for lack of accountability.
It called for proper delineation of roles and adequate budgetary funding for the Nigerian Railway Corporation.
“There are minimum safe distances that must be observed at stops and intersections. A train requires a minimum of 320m adequate distance (safety over-run). This implies that to stop a train in motion, the driver must apply the brake about 320m to the stop point.”
“Level crossings are essential safety infrastructure for the free flow of transportation where there are intersections between two or more modes of transport”, CILTN stated.
The Institute said it is extremely difficult to successfully manoeuvre and stop a train in motion with shorter safety over-run.
This makes it necessary to install functional and well-manned road safety infrastructure at specific points and intersections. These barrier include road bumps, speed retarders, etc. In addition, law enforcement agents should be stationed at the level crossings to compliment the work of gate keepers.
CILT Nigeria called for aggressive safety awareness campaigns by relevant agencies such as the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and State traffic agencies to educate commuters on safety on the road and rail.
As a long term measure, CILTN suggested, number of intersections should be reduced even as separate routes for rail tracks and roads is encouraged.
“New constructions should, as far as is practicable, not include intersections in designs. Flyovers or tunnels are preferred options.”
Mrs Usoro commended the Federal Government for empanelling with dispatch an investigation into the Ikeja train crash.
“The CILT re-iterates its call for the Government to set up an independent body that will be tasked with investigation of all transport-related accidents as recommended in the National Transport Policy. It is not best practice to expect the agencies directly or indirectly involved in accidents to investigate themselves.”
Expressing concerns about the delay in birthing the proposed National Transport Commission and the National Transport Safety Board, CITLN urged the Transportation Minister to submit the National Transport Policy to the FEC for approval.
The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) is the world’s leading international professional body for all sectors of the Logistics and Transport Industry. CILT provides authoritative views on systems and policies relating to Logistics and Transport for government and industry. It parades highly knowledgeable, skilled and experienced professionals capable of enhancing efficiency in the transport sector applying best global practices.