Concern on bus depot

2014-08-08 00:00

SOME city centre residents who are unhappy that part of Dales Park will become a bus depot, want a meeting on the Rapid Bus Transport System (BRT).

Their request has, however, not been granted for now.

City centre ward councillor Judith Lawrence said the matter was raised by residents in her ward community meeting. Mayor Chris Ndlela replied that he wanted to know how many people were at the meeting.

Ndlela said this was so he could understand the scale of unhappiness as opposed to those who supported an improved public transport system. He said the local state could not be hamstrung from doing its work by a few people.

Lawrence said 50 people attended the meeting.

She said no one disagreed that the BRT would be an improvement. They were concerned that part of Dales Park was to be used as a depot, limiting recreational space.

The councillor said there was empty land nearby belonging to Spoornet and the municipality that could be used instead. She added that Dales Park was also environmentally sensitive. It was in a flood plain and involved taking away open space.

City municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi said there are going to be further public awareness meetings on the BRT.

Lawrence added that at last week’s meeting on the BRT in the Northdale civic centre, further concerns were raised on insufficient information on how the system was going to affect Church Street.

The mayor asked about the number of people at the civic centre meeting and Lawrence said she could not say how many were there — but possibly more than 50. She was sitting in the front and did not turn to see how many were behind her, she said.

Ndlela added that he was asking about the numbers because there was a need to balance the concerns Lawrence was raising.

Exco member councillor Manilal Inderjit was full of praise for the Rapid Bus Transport (BRT) system. He was part of the 26-member delegation that went to South America on a BRT fact-finding mission

Inderjit said:

• There’s been a major reduction in gas emissions in Brazil since the introduction of the BRT.

The system was safe and clean.

• There’s been a zero accident rate in Brazilian cities with the BRT.

• The poor used the system extensively because it was affordable.

• The bus drivers who were previously taxi drivers explained that they now enjoyed a better standard of living.

• Travel times in Sao Paulo had been reduced from four hours to one-and-half hours on one route and from 45 minutes to 15 on another.

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