The City’s transport authority has set aside R750 million over a period of five years for road infrastructure projects to alleviate the main pressure points in the city. Earlier this year a congestion study identified Blaauwberg, as one of three growth areas in most need of intervention. Kuils River and Kommetjie being the other two areas.
‘Our information shows that commuters in the Blaauwberg, Kuils River and Kommetjie areas travel, on average, twice as long during the peak period compared with the off-peak period to reach their destinations. The peak period in these areas extends for three hours as compared with the two hours elsewhere in the city. These areas are therefore the first pressure points to be addressed by the City over the next five years,’ said Councillor Herron.
The R750 million will be spent as follows:
• R125 million in the next financial year (2016/17)
• R200 million in 2017/18
• R200 million in 2018/19
• R125 million in 2019/20 and
• R100 million in 2020/21
‘We are aware that building our way out of congestion will not solve the problem in the long-term. The only sustainable solution is to have significantly fewer private vehicles on our roads. However, as much as we want private vehicle owners to make use of public transport, we have to take into account that it will take some years to establish other reliable and attractive travel alternatives across the city to give people in private cars realistic choices – of which passenger rail is the most obvious. We have to add capacity to the existing road network to provide some form of relief in the severely congested areas of the city while we are working on establishing an efficient, affordable, extensive and intermodal public transport system,’ said Councillor Herron.
The following infrastructure projects have been prioritised:
• Blaauwberg: Plattekloof Road (M13), Tygerberg Valley Road, Blaauwberg Road, Giel Basson Drive (M12), Sandown Road, Link Road, and Koeberg Road Extension.
• Kuils River: Bottelary Road, Saxdowns Road, Amandel Road, Belhar Main Road, Erica Drive and Okavango Road.
• Kommetjie: Kommetjie Road, Ou Kaapse Weg, Houmoed Avenue and an investigation into the feasibility of a shuttle service between Kommetjie and Fish Hoek.
The Congestion Management Programme also identifies the worst congested areas in relation to freight movement, business traffic and public transport services and as such the following roads are prioritised:
• Jip de Jager Drive in Bellville
• Broadway Boulevard in the Strand
• Sir Lowry’s Pass Village Road in Gordon’s Bay
• De Villiers Road in Durbanville
Currently 17% of those in the low-income group make use of private vehicles; 40% of those in the low- to middle-income group; 81% of the middle- to high-income group; and 90% of the high-income group.
‘Those among us relying exclusively on our private cars to get where we want to be must make a mind shift towards public transport and non-motorised transport such as walking and cycling where practical. As stated above, we cannot build our way out of congestion. We therefore need a behavioural change from our residents and businesses as well. The City cannot do it alone. The only sustainable solution is for us to work together – either by making use of public transport where we have access to it, by changing our working hours, or to work from home if we can,’ said Councillor Herron.