Storm causes robot trouble

2008-12-07 00:00

The traffic gridlock in the city at the end of last week was a result of damage to the traffic synchronisation system caused by the same storm that damaged houses last week.

The worst affected were Chief Albert Luthuli and Chota Motala roads, which had traffic backed up far worse than usual.

The Witness was inundated with complaints from motorists on Friday. A motorist who uses Chota Motala Road criticised the municipality for not having traffic police on duty to help the situation. He said that when he phoned the traffic section he was offered no explanation, but told that the problem was with the robots and referred to the electricity department.

There was speculation that the cause of the problem could also have been the lack of experienced staff working at the traffic light control centre.

Deputy municipal manager for infrastructure services, Phil Mashoko, confirmed that experienced staff have left his department. He said the council is being assisted by the manufacturers of the new computerised robot system to ensure that robots are co-ordinated. The services of private contractors are being used to sort out the synchronisation problems.

Acting safety and security manager Kenneth Chetty said the faulty robot system affected the inner city the most. As a result, traffic officers could not be sent to Chota Motala Road because the 15 traffic control officers on duty were co-ordinating critical points where vehicles pour in from the different suburbs.

“Commercial [Chief Albert Luthuli Road] was crazy. Motorists were swearing at us. We tried our best to assist and the problem was solved [on Frida

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