Business News
Ban on school buses using Dubai airport tunnel causes delays
Dubai Police confirm that all buses are prohibited from using airport tunnel
Buses using Dubai airport tunnel will now be slapped with a fine, following a new sign that was put up by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) banning their entry, Gulf News can confirm.Colonel Saif Muhair Al Mazroui, Director of Dubai Traffic Police said, "A sign banning buses from entering the airport tunnel only has been put up by RTA, as they are the authority responsible for placing traffic and road signs, and so we [Dubai Police] fine non-abiding buses."RTA could not be reached by press time. However, when contacted, companies providing bus services to schools in Dubai said they had received no instructions on not taking the airport tunnel.This has forced all busses, including school busses, to take alternative routes and has in turn resulted in students waiting in buses for long hours to reach schools and return home, parents of schoolchildren told Gulf News. The airport tunnel on Beirut Road provides a vital link between Al Twaar, Rashidiya, Umm Al Ramool and Al Garoud areas where a number of schools are located. With the new rule, buses now have to take longer routes to reach destinations.Edward Abraham, an Indian father, brought the issue to light on Tuesday saying that for the past couple of days, the bus that takes his son to school has been stuck in traffic on Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed road due to the new rule."Due to the working hours in school, buses pick up children very early. Now, children will have to get up even earlier to factor in the extra 10 minutes that will be needed to combat the morning rush hour. To work around this, school timings must be staggered so that not everyone leaves for school at the same time and gets stuck in peak time traffic," he said.While there must be a valid reason for closing the airport tunnel to buses, he said, more thought needs to be given to children and the time that they spend on the road.Another parent, Ahmad Shams from India, said is was not advisable to have kids get stuck for many hours as it can affect their academic performance, especially that they now have to wake up even earlier."I believe it affects their performance and tires them out. I hope the authorities will come out with solutions that would help ease the burden on students," he said.Arab Falcon, providing services to Taleem schools said, "We have not received any orders on avoiding a specific tunnel. Some roads can take longer to pick and drop students, so this is why our bus drivers take certain tunnels. Avoiding them can cause delays," she said.