Rock-attack bridge still not closed

2014-01-29 00:00

THE fight by Durban North councillor Dean Macpherson to have the Blackburn Bridge closed due to fear of rock-throwing attacks has fallen on deaf ears, he says.

There have been pleas to close the footbridge since rock-throwing attacks from the end of 2012.

In August last year, Macpherson said that the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) had promised that the bridge would be cordoned off.

“Since then nothing has happened, police and metro police are unwilling to assist,” he said. “This is a criminal activity. If it continues, someone is going to be killed. Police warn motorists to be vigilant, but you only have a few seconds to react when a brick comes flying towards your windscreen,” he said.

The bridge, situated on the N2 between Umhlanga and the King Shaka International Airport, has been plagued by rock attacks in recent months, with the most recent one just over a week ago.

Glen Ashton and Sean Tennent were using the N2 as a route towards Westbrooke beach for a fishing trip when they were attacked. Fortunately, the rock thrown at the vehicle hit its bumper and went under it.

Macpherson said that other incidents involved foreign visitors. “We can’t allow visitors to come to our city when, after they get off a plane, they are attacked only 10 kilometres away,” he said.

Transport spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane said that the Transport Department was aware of the unfortunate incidents that took place and were engaging with Sanral and the municipality for a solution.

“We have instructed police and traffic officials who monitor freeways to also monitor overhead bridges. In some cases, we have arrested suspects and any suspects who are arrested must face the full might of the law,” he said.

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