x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Dubai roads at standstill as students get back to school

Commuters were stuck in traffic as the school-run returns to the roads, with some taking to Twitter to express their dismay.

Traffic chaos during the morning rush on Oud Metha Road in Dubai. This area, where there are several schools, experienced some of heaviest traffic during the school run. Pawan Singh / The National
Traffic chaos during the morning rush on Oud Metha Road in Dubai. This area, where there are several schools, experienced some of heaviest traffic during the school run. Pawan Singh / The National

DUBAI // The start of the new school year meant delays and frustration on Dubai's roads as traffic ground to a standstill in many places yesterday morning.

Dubai police said some motorists were stuck in jams for more than an hour after several minor accidents during rush hour.

Many angry commuters, as well as parents negotiating their first school run, took to Twitter to voice their displeasure.

Most people blamed the heavy traffic on fleets of school buses and parents rushing to get children to class on time.

"Oh no, it's back to school traffic," tweeted @MerlinBangera.

"Kids in the buses looking as glum and sleepy as the grown-ups in their cars."

The worst affected areas were around Oud Metha which has a number of schools. There were also reports of multiple accidents on Sheikh Zayed Road.

"Police need to do a better job controlling traffic," said Thuraiyah Dawood, 31, a bank auditor stuck in traffic in Sharjah trying to get on to Emirates Road. "One police officer is not enough to handle all this traffic."

Ms Dawood said her daily commute usually takes an hour but it was almost double that yesterday.

"I was late getting to the office but I guess everyone was late today."

Police said the construction of a flyover near the Wafi Mall caused traffic jams all the way to Nad Al Sheba.

An Emirati mother of two said she always leaves early to avoid the morning traffic. "There was bad traffic from Wafi intersection right back almost to Nad Al Sheba, also going towards Trade Centre."

The city's motorways also had heavy traffic. Dubai police reported an accident on Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road from Al Mizhar bridge towards Sharjah, resulting in long delays.

Iqbal Shareef, a chauffeur for a family in Mirdif, was stuck on Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road.

"I don't think it would have mattered how early we left this morning, we still had to spend more than an hour in traffic."

The 31 year-old Pakistani had to take three children to school.

"I was surprised at the number of panicked motorists on the road. It's a traffic jam, the only option is to wait it out. But they were switching lanes and making things worse for everyone else."

malkhan@thenational.ae