Vehicles wait to cross the FSM bridge in Istanbul. AA photo
Traffic remained deadlocked on Istanbul's Fatih Sultan Mehmet (FSM) Bridge today despite a decision to allow drivers to use the passageway for free.
The Turkish Cabinet passed a decision to temporarily abolish toll collection on the FSM and Bosphorus bridges until repair work on the former is completed in an effort to expedite the passage of vehicles over the intercontinental link.
Several lanes on the FSM Bridge have been closed for repairs, which are set to last for another two months.
But the free crossings, which came into effect at midnight this morning, failed to alleviate the congestion on the FSM Bridge as rush hour traffic came to a halt on the bridge at around 7:30 a.m. with drivers, unaware of the Cabinet's decision, trying to scan their passcards at toll booths.
Drivers stuck in traffic told reporters that they did not believe making the bridges toll free would help solve the traffic jams but would worsen the congestion.
Turkey's Directorate of Highways will decide on the official end date of the repair work, at which time the free crossings will also cease. Accident on FSM bridge kills two
Two people were killed on the Fatih Sultan Mehmet (FSM) Bridge yesterday when a driver lost control of his vehicle and plunged into oncoming traffic, hitting a bus.
Driver Orhan Kar crossed into oncoming traffic, which was only separated by cones, at around 8:45 p.m. yesterday as he was heading to Istanbul’s European side.
After hitting the bus, the vehicle was flung back into its original lane where it hit another car and flipped over.
Orhan Kar was killed at the scene while Birgül Kar, Fatih Kar and Fatma Yücel were injured. Fatih Kar, who was hospitalized with serious injuries later died in hospital.
Europe-bound traffic on the TEM highway came to a complete halt for 45 minutes after the accident.