THE IMPACT OF ROAD TRANSPORTATION MODE ON THE URBAN AREA OF ABIA STATE IN NIGERIA
1.1 Background to the Study
Transportation encompasses the movement of people, goods and services from one point of origin to destination (Filani, 1993). Transportation is indispensable to modern economic development especially in a developing country like Nigeria. It plays a vital role in shaping the economy of any nation (or region) because modern industries and commercial activities rely on proper, well developed and efficient transport system (Anyanwu, Oaikhena, Oyefusi and Dimowo, 1997). In support of this, Wane (2001), pointed out that transportation is a crucial vector for urban insertion since it gives access to economic activity; facilitate family life, and helps in spinning social networks.
Transport is a central dimension of the national and global production systems that are reshaping the world, making it a topic of universal interest and importance. People move from one place to the other, regularly or occasionally. Goods collected, extracted and manufactured, must be distributed from place to place prior to consumption. People who need services, which are generally provided at a limited number of places, must travel in order to access such services. Transport therefore fulfils a very important function in a society and is one of the most pervasive factors in any economy (Munby in Hoyle and Knowles, 2001). Transport plays a crucial role in urban growth by linking and providing access for people to essential services such as education, markets, employment, recreation, health care and other key services that induce growth of towns, cities and metropolis. Enhanced mobility for the poor and vulnerable groupsespecially in cities of the developing world, is one of the most important preconditions for achieving Millennium Development Goals. Those cities with transport modes in an integrated system are more likely to evolve and prosper as centers for trade, commerce, industry, education, tourism and services (Buis, 2009). The rate of growth of urban centers has called for the need for movement of people, goods, services and information. In order to sustain the growth of urban centers, efficient transportation system is required (Button, 1991). However, the rate of growth of urban centers is related to the rate of movement of people, goods and services, using different means of transportation (Hoyle and Knowles, 1998).
Transport developments may lead to changes in the pattern of land use in an urban center around the transport corridors, with more transport intensive uses; including consumer activities locating closer to transport interchanges. Commercial, retail and residential development may be affected. These impacts can be important at a local level but basically affect the geographical pattern of activity rather than the overall level of activity. The effects are therefore, local rather than national or even regional (Planning, Economic and Development Consultants, 2004)