Roadlink in trouble again

2009-04-10 00:00

THREE SA Roadlink buses were impounded yesterday, leaving about 65 passengers stranded for hours and turning the six-hour journey from Johannesburg to Durban into a daunting 12-hour trip.

KwaZulu-Natal Transport Department spokeswoman Nonkululeko Mbatha said the department is targeting buses this weekend. “Most people are using buses travelling home … and our focus is on buses to ensure that people return home safely.”

Mbatha said traffic officials stopped buses in Ladysmith and Estcourt. “The first bus was stopped in Ladysmith … It was found to have a duplicated licence disc and it was impounded. The second one was stopped in Estcourt and it was emitting excessive smoke and was also taken off the road.” A replacement bus was called and all passengers from both buses transferred to the third bus.

Passengers in the replacement bus noticed that it was “leaning to one side” and called traffic officials. “We stopped the bus in Balgowan and we found that it was indeed leaning to one side. The bus was impounded as well and we had to organise another bus to transport the passengers … ,” said Mbatha.

SA Roadlink was involved in a legal wrangle with Transport MEC Bheki Cele in December last year. Cele banned the company’s buses after one of its buses was involved in an accident that killed 11 people.

Mbatha said SA Roadlink is “at the forefront of problems again”.

“The buses will be impounded and more tests will be run on them and then appropriate action will be taken.”

SA Roadlink could not be reached for comment.

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