Trucks, trailers and heavy machinery will no longer be allowed to park anywhere in Doha after the end of January, the Traffic Department has announced. The move appears to be part of a larger effort to regulate truck movement on Qatar’s increasingly congested roads.
An advertisement placed in today’s newspapers states that all heavy goods vehicles will be banned from parking in central Doha and its suburbs – including Gharafa, Lusail, Al Rayyan, Mesaimeer and Old Airport – from Jan. 30.
Loading and unloading from the vehicles would still be allowed, the notice adds.
The Traffic Department states that the ban is a new implementation of country’s existing traffic law, which gives the Minister the power to control where trucks and trailers are allowed to park in Qatar.
The parking ban is the Traffic Department’s latest initiative to ease congestion on the city’s packed streets.
Although this is the first time such a ban is being implemented, restrictions on truck movement around certain areas of the city are already familiar, with some busy roads banning trucks entirely.
Furthermore, trucks are usually banned from driving during peak hours in particularly busy periods, such as Ramadan.
The move may also be a preemptive one, as Qatar’s rapid expansion plans are leading to a huge influx of trucks onto the roads.
Regional business intelligence group MEED warned last year that the billions of dollars of mega projects that Qatar is embarking on before the 2022 World Cup would require a countless amount of steel and other construction materials, all of which will have to be transported via trucks.
Just one of these projects, QRail’s Doha Metro, is expected to create some 4,000 truck movements daily, the company said.
Meanwhile, Ashghal, the Public Works Authority, has launched an automatic “over-height vehicle detection system” at the Duhail Interchange to prevent trucks above 5.5m from passing under bridges there and causing damage.
If an approaching truck violates the legal height limit, the detection system turns on warning sirens and flashes a message in multiple languages on an electronic display board, and the traffic signal itself will turn red. Traffic authorities are also notified.
Ashghal said it is studying other possible locations to install the system around the city.