Traffic queues for 5 km bumper to bumper around Estcourt

2012-08-10 00:00

MOTORISTS travelling on the N3 yesterday had to contend with lengthy traffic delays as authorities tried to clear trucks that had been stranded due to Wednesday’s snowstorm.

Traffic was bumper-to-bumper for up to five kilometers near Estcourt, forcing traffic authorities to divert light motor vehicles through the Estcourt town centre.

Road Traffic Inspectorate spokesperson Zinhle Mngomezulu said traffic had more than trebled on the N3, with almost 1 400 cars per hour passing through the tollgates. The normal daily rate is 400.

Traffic queues also built up to close to five kilometres near the Tweedie turnoff, with many motorists heading to view the snow.

Witness staff member Chris Ndaliso travelling on the N3 northbound, said he spent at least five hours stuck in traffic.

“I left Pietermaritzburg for Ladysmith at about 11 am; I reached Ladysmith around 4 pm. I spent five hours in the traffic. When we got close to the Tweedie [turn-off], we had to drop the speed significantly; we were driving at about 20 km/h.”

Ndaliso said he had to stop for two hours near the Mooi River toll plaza while road workers cleared the snow.

Transport Department spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane said all the roads had been opened yesterday. The only exception was the R617 heading towards Kokstad, which was still closed due to the snow.

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