Casablanca: the circulation of heavy goods vehicles “soon” prohibited during the day

The Casablanca city council is moving towards banning the circulation of heavy goods vehicles during the day in the arteries of the metropolis. A decision hailed by traders who are still waiting for the creation of a logistics zone in Casablanca.

A decree will be released soon to mark the entry into force of the ban on the circulation of heavy goods vehicles in the middle of the day in the main arteries of the city of Casablanca. This decision was announced Thursday, September 22, 2022, by Nabila Rmili, mayor of the economic capital during the Business Lunch of the Association for the Progress of Leaders (ADP).

“This is a long-awaited decision by both Casablancans and members of the city council,” says Karim Glaibi, president of the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) group on the Casablanca city council, for Le360.

“The circulation of heavy goods vehicles (3.5 tonnes and more, Editor’s note) in the city, from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., constitutes a serious problem for motorists. In this already congested city, the speed, weight and volume of these vehicles have a great influence on traffic conditions. Not to mention the accidents they cause,” argues Karim Glaibi.

The “Ok” of traders

This decision was well received by wholesale traders, the first users of this mode of transport. For Mohamed Dahbi, secretary general of the General Union of Businesses and Professions (UGEP), the use of heavy goods vehicles during the day has always had a negative impact on wholesale traders.

“Traders continually suffer from late deliveries due to heavy road traffic during the day. They are losing some of their customers who cannot even find where to park because of the presence of heavy goods vehicles, in particular at Derb Omar and Garage Allal,” he explained.

For the representative of the traders, however, it should be noted that there are three prerequisites for the success of this decision. “The ban on the circulation of heavy goods vehicles in the main boulevards of Casablanca must be carefully thought out before it is put in place. An action plan must be prepared to take a proactive approach to resolving the problems that this prohibition may cause. It is also necessary to involve the various stakeholders in decision-making and above all to organize awareness campaigns to get transporters and traders to support this approach and above all to respect it,” explains Mohamed Dahbi.

A logistics zone to decongest the city

To decongest the metropolis and solve the mobility problem, the City Council also intends to dust off a project that has been under consideration for many years: the creation of a logistics zone in the district of Ben M’sik Sidi Othmane. This area “will allow carriers to ensure, in good conditions, loading, unloading and distribution operations,” said Nabila Rmili.

For Mohamed Dahbi, the creation of this logistics center “is the solution to decongest the city of Casablanca knowing that it is located near the national highway and not far from the port”. In the meantime, heavy goods vehicles will be obliged, after the release of the municipal decree, to use “clandestine” destocking areas to transport goods within the city via vans.

A snag remains. The project to create the Ben M’sik Sidi Othmane logistics zone comes up against a major problem: the land on which this logistics zone will be built currently houses the wholesale fruit and vegetable market. The latter, like all the wholesale markets, should be moved outside the metropolis, according to a decision by the city council which will be presented for approval during the October 2022 session.

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