Northern Corridor stopover eyes to give long-distance drivers rest

Makueni Governor Mutula Kilonzo Jnr and Superior Homes Kenya CEO Shiv Arora (right) during the groundbreaking of a Sh350 million truck stop in Sultan Hamud. [David Njaaga, Standard]

Real estate developer Superior Homes Kenya last week broke ground for the construction of a Sh350 million modern roadside stopover complex at Sultan Hamud town along the Nairobi-Mombasa highway.

The complex will provide safe and secure resting points for long-distance truck drivers.

Dubbed Supastop, the facility will feature modern amenities for long-distance transit drivers, including safe and secure parking, a fuel station, and decent and affordable accommodation.

It will also have a variety of affordable eateries, convenience stores, clean restrooms, clean showers, prayer rooms, and a health facility, all in one development.

 Supastop will also offer other services including truck and other vehicle maintenance and repair, driver training, and logistics services.

Superior Homes intends to tap into the market gap of inadequate and informal truck stop facilities by providing self-contained service and rest point areas to truck drivers along the various transit routes within the country.

The development at Sultan Hamud will be the pilot for a further 30 proposed locations along the Northern Corridor.

Sultan Hamud is identified as a major parking spot for long-distance trucks with an estimated 300 trucks parking along the roadside every night.

It is the centre of a 145-km stretch between Mtito Andei and Salama but has been lacking decent accommodation facilities for drivers.

Speaking at the launch ceremony Makueni Governor Mutula Kilonzo Jnr commended Superior Homes Kenya for the timely and innovative initiative that will also help address the issue of driver fatigue – one of the biggest causes of road accidents.

"One of the biggest causes of road accidents is driver fatigue. When you offer long-distance transit drivers a secure parking spot, decent and affordable accommodation as will happen here, they are sure of a good night's sleep, and you will have a fresh and more alert driver on the road the following day."

"Road safety is a key agenda for Makueni County, and we are continuously putting in place and enforcing rules and guidelines to ensure our roads are safe for all.

Superior Homes Kenya Chief Executive Shiv Arora said their main drive to put up modern stopover complex facility was driven by the gap in the Kenyan market, where long-distance transit drivers lack decent and affordable resting places.

“With the demand for goods and services increasing, and the growing concern to promote road safety for road users, the need for safe rest stops has never been greater.

"Fatigue among long-distance transit drivers is a major cause of most road accidents between heavy commercial vehicles and passenger buses collisions that often result in loss of lives and properties estimated in millions of dollars every year," Mr Arora said.

Completion of the project is scheduled for end of 2023, with the facility expected to contribute to the reduction of road accidents attributed to long-distance heavy commercial vehicles and passenger buses. 

Supastop is a pilot project in partnership with the Northern Corridor Transit and Transit Corridor, which is mandated to guarantee free passage of transit traffic along the member states of the Northern Corridor.