‘Properly crazy’ traffic

2015-06-03 11:12
A traffic pointsman and crossing guard chat together while the traffic backs up and motorists battle to get into the flow of traffic from Stott Road into Mayor's Walk.

A traffic pointsman and crossing guard chat together while the traffic backs up and motorists battle to get into the flow of traffic from Stott Road into Mayor's Walk. (Stephanie Saville)

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AMID the mounting traffic chaos in the Prestbury area, an allegedly ­foul-mouthed traffic pointsman has raised the ire of a motorist there.

Residents say the rise of traffic volumes in the Prestbury area in recent years has resulted in a chaotic rush hour commute, with urgent appeals for the council to ­intervene and do something to ease ­congestion.

Frustrations are rising as drivers brazenly defy traffic rules and traffic authorities come under fire for seemingly doing little to help ease the congestion there.

Drivers face lengthy queues and the dangerous driving of those who overtake in the face of oncoming traffic, cut in without warning and shoot through the red traffic lights at the intersection of ­Neville Road and Mayor’s Walk.

The hotspots according to residents are Zwartkop Road and Mayor’s Walk, ­Morcom Road and Stott Road. Lines of frustrated motorists sit waiting for the slow traffic to move.

Local resident Russell George of the Prestbury Community Watch described the traffic situation as “properly crazy”. He said there was no active traffic policing in the area. George is also concerned about the situation in emergencies and fears that emergency vehicles will not be able to get through the traffic in a hurry.

George added that the traffic in ­Zwartkop Road was terribly congested and that taxis and other vehicles regularly “fly down the wrong side of the road” and then try and force their way into the flow of traffic causing a bottleneck around the Prestbury police station.

The frustrations faced by George came to a head one morning in March when he was on his way to work and found the long line of cars waiting to get into Mayor’s Walk from Stott Road had stretched right up to near Prestbury Methodist Church. He said the pointsman at the Stott Road intersection was standing chatting to the crossing guard (lollypop man) ignoring the line of cars.

This complaint has been voiced by other readers too and seen by The Witness (see photo). George asked for him to help with the line of cars in Stott Road, saying he needed to get to work. According to George, the pointsman replied: “F**k you. I don’t feel like doing my job, you can wait.” In addition, George said the ­lollypop man was then asked by an elderly woman if he could help her across the very busy Zwartkop Road.

He replied that he was only there for school children and she should cross by herself. She then asked the pointsman who replied that he was there for cars only. An exasperated George, who witnessed this scene, then gave the elderly woman a lift to where she wanted to go.

When asked to comment on this ­incident, Msunduzi spokesperson ­Nqobile Madonda said: “The incident will certainly be investigated by the Traffic department and has also been referred to the Batho Pele office. There is no room for such language, behaviour and attitude in the workplace.”

George provided the date of the incident so that Msunduzi could ascertain which pointsman was on that day.

She urged residents to report such traffic incidents to the Traffic Department manager, Phumla Dlamini, through his secretary Nomzekelo Magwanyana at 033 392 2903 or email Nomzekelo.magwanyana@msunduzi.gov.za

Readers may remember Russell ­George as the man who made a ­citizen’s arrest of an allegedly drunk policeman who was driving in ­Prestbury in 2013.

He locked the apparently inebriated policeman in the back of the police van. He told The Witness this week he was never called to be a witness in any matter against the policeman

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