Government has finally agreed to lift the two week suspension that had been imposed on Link Bus company after the grisly Fort Portal accident last week.
A preliminary report by government on the accident has since blamed human error on the side of the bus driver to have been the cause of the accident.
Government consequently suspended Link buses for a period of two weeks as investigations into the grisly accident continue.
However, on Friday, the Works and Transport Minister, Gen Edward Katumba Wamala told journalists that government has finally lifted the suspension.
“Having gone through all the processes and convinced that Link Bus has taken necessary process to address the challenges and have put in place measures to address gaps that were there, we have taken decision to lift the suspension against Link buses,” Gen Katumba said.
“They can start going back to the routes and also address some of the gaps created by their absence.”
He said the lifting of the suspension also came after the bus company offered to foot bills for burial arrangement and medical treatment for the dead and injured respectively.
According to the Transport Minister, only buses and drivers that have been verified by the ministry will be allowed back onto the road.
Sigh of relief
The development is a sigh of relief to both members of the public and the bus company that have been anxiously waiting for this.
For example, following the suspension of the bus company, the other bus companies plying the route that Link buses wee operating hiked prices due to the influx of passengers.
A number of the passengers were on several occasions seen stranded after the suspension was announced.
The Works and Transport Minister however appealed to members of the public to ensure discipline on the road.
“We should avoid road carnage because it has adverse effects on families, overstretching health sector and economy. It is my appeal that al users are responsible while we use the road. As a driver, consider yourself as the only sensible person on the road. You must know there is a vehicle in front, front the sides, behind and boda bodas ,”Gen Katumba urged.
Management to come good
The development comes on the backdrop of meetings and promises by the management of the bus company to come good.
In a May, 12 letter to the Minister of Works and Transport, the Link Bus company Managing Director, Solomon Nsimire promised to come good on ensuring their drivers follow the set guidelines while on the road in the wake of the grisly accident involving one of their vehicles.
He said that since 2019, the company has been carrying out regular defensive driving trainings for its drivers both internally and those organized by the ministry.
“Following this accident, we recalled all our drivers for a three day defensive driving training and this was against conducted by UDSA and officials from Uganda Police. Our periodic training program will continue to be implemented,” Nsimire
The Link Bus Managing Director says will review and strengthen the conduct of their drivers to ensure they avoid a repeat of the grisly accident.
“We are going to review our disciplinary measures so that errant drivers are appropriately dealt with, including dismissal for those who persistently violate traffic regulations.”
“We shall work with our managers to ensure that drivers are given adequate time to rest so as to avoid fatigue which at times contributes to accidents.”
The management of the bus company said they would strengthen the driver disciplinary committee to help ensure drivers adhere to set standards.
“We are to strengthen this committee to ensure it can look into the life styles of drivers after work to ensure they get enough rest. Going forward, we are going to involve this committee in in the recruitment process of new drivers to ensure we hire competent drivers,” the Link Bus company Managing Director said.
The bus company said it will now involve passengers in monitoring and reporting of bad behaviour on the road by drivers to ensure discipline.
The Managing Director said they will avail numbers for customers to call and report incidents of bad driving and indiscipline as well as using bus inspectors to check on the same.