Motorists fume over cycling race closures

2008-02-05 00:00

While cooler temperatures yesterday made racing easier for the international cyclists participating in the Intaka Tech World’s View Challenge, some motorists were left steaming because of road closures.

Roads have to be closed while the cyclists pass and this has meant delays — sometimes of up to an hour — along the race route.

The Witness was flooded with calls from irate drivers.

Pelham resident David Clark called the planning for the event “pathetic” and said the public should have been better informed of road closures. Clark bemoaned the fact that there are no signs warning of road closures, which makes them hard to avoid.

Taxi drivers were also at their wits’ end yesterday, saying their work has been made very difficult.

A Pietermaritzburg businessman expressed frustration about not being able to get his deliveries to customers on time.

“There is chaos in this town because they’ve dumped this stupid cycling race on us without adequate planning,” he said.

The businessman also said the routes published in the paper are confusing because there is no indication of when the cyclists will pass. The organisers have told The Witness it is not possible to give these times before the races.

Transport Department spokesman Colin Govender countered that all closure points have been adequately covered by traffic officers and marshals. “We have received no adverse reports thus far,” he said.

David Gengan, the Msunduzi Municipality’s head of economic development and growth, said the traffic delays are regrettable, but race organisers ensured that the routes were well publicised, so motorists know where to avoid.

Today is a rest day with no racing. Tomorrow’s route includes New England and Surrey roads, Hesketh Drive and Murray and College roads, in the city. The start and finish are again in Alexandra Park.

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