Movie shoot mayhem in city

2009-04-30 00:00

ROAD closures for a film shoot in parts of Clarendon caused chaos yesterday. Motorists and residents were delayed while going to work and classes at schools in the area were disrupted.

Angry motorists lambasted the Msunduzi traffic department for failing to inform the public about the road closures. The Witness was inundated with calls. Many people phoned from the gridlocked roads to say they had been hugely inconvenienced.

A Taunton Road resident, Joy Chimombe, said her day was spoilt. "I am gatvol. My children were late for school. I could not leave the house because I could not go anywhere. Traffic was backed up all the way during peak hour."

Another resident said the closure put her health at risk. "I am p***ed off. I am trying to get to an appointment for a brain scan... and now this delay."

The biggest frustration for many was the time they wasted trying to find an alternative route.

"It took me an hour to get to the freeway... why didn't they tell us that they were going to close the roads?" said Frans Klopper of Wembley.

"I drove all the way down here [Taunton and Roberts intersection] and I get told to turn back to where I came from. They should have put up a sign at the top of Taunton Road," said Audrey Harrison who lives near Old Howick Road.

Motorists driving through Clarendon, Wembley and Prestbury to the city centre or from the city to schools in the area were the most affected.

The film shoot was held at the corner of Roberts and Cordwalles roads, leading to Peter Kerchhoff (Chapel) and Victoria streets. Access to Roberts Road was closed at the Taunton/Roberts roads intersection as well as on Victoria Road and Peter Kerchoff Street. Cordwalles Road was closed at the Old Howick Road intersection.

Most schools in the area were not informed about the filming and the effect it would have. Morning classes at Cordwalles Preparatory, the Wykeham Collegiate and Clarendon Primary - but not at Voortrekker High - were disrupted because pupils arrived late.

Jane Elsworth of Cordwalles said the incident was hugely inconvenient. "If there had been a warning, the school would have made alternative arrangements," she said.

A receptionist at Wykeham, Louise Maher, said she gave directions for alternate routes to parents of children coming for admission interviews. "Some parents even walked their children to the school from Roberts Road," she said.

One of the directors of the film, Andrew Strackham, said he was surprised residents and schools had not been informed. "About four weeks ago we wrote letters and distributed them to residents. We followed proper procedure to the letter, and we had permission from the local municipality."

sandilez@witness.co.za

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