Taxi drivers ‘not to blame’

2010-10-20 00:00

THE Northern Suburbs Taxi Association is fed up at bearing the blame for the peak hour traffic chaos.

They are even more unhappy that their pleas and offers of a solution to the Msunduzi traffic department are being ignored.

Chairperson Nazir Khan said while he is not exonerating bad taxi drivers, impatient motorists are also to blame. Khan said that at a roadblock run by the police last week, seven taxis were caught and six private motorists.

Deputy chairperson Vinesh Singh added that the a survey conducted over eight months and commissioned by the association, showed that on a daily basis there are 170 taxis operating from the Northdale area, along with 5 000 cars. “170 taxis alone cannot cause all the chaos,” he added.

As a result of this research they wrote to the municipality offering a contingency plan, as well as sketches of what can be done.

The association faxed a copy of the letter, which was sent to the acting manager of the public safety and security division in August this year, to The Witness.

In the letter they formally request assistance from the department to help ease the traffic congestion in the northern areas.

They also offer suggestions “to ease the congestion which will help all road users”.

According to Singh, their proposal showed how an extra lane can be created in Allandale Drive as well as on other roads. They also proposed making Manning Avenue one way during peak traffic times.

The association offered to put out cone markers early in the morning and volunteered its assistance in other ways as well.

Khan said they held meetings with various organisations to get support for the plan.

They got the support of councillor Mergan Chetty, the Mountain Rise Community Policing Forum (CPF) and they also had a letter of support from the Democratic Alliance (DA). He added that the Eastwood, Copesville and Woodlands Taxi Association also supported the proposal.

He said they also talked to the provincial Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI), which offered to help if the Msunduzi Municipality did not have the capacity and needed their assistance.

“We made the proposal because it is to our benefit to be able to take half an hour to get to town rather than the hour and longer it takes presently. We will be able to make more trips and earn more money,” said Singh.

Khan added that the association invested money in improving safety and the image of the industry. They have rank managers, spot checks and they bought two way radios to keep control of their drivers and fleet throughout the city. “I’m not saying that we have completely cleaned up, but we have come a long way,” he added

Meanwhile, Chetty said he has spoken to administrator Johann Mettler, who has a number of issues to deal with, which Chetty understood. They have scheduled a meeting for today to discuss the traffic crisis.



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