Transport to fund city’s new bus system

2014-07-08 00:00

THE Department of Transport will fund the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project that will operate through Pietermaritzburg’s central business district.

Construction will hopefully start next year, Natasha Lalie, a spokesperson for Strategic Environmental Focus, the environmental consultancy firm working on the project, said yesterday.

The project will be built and operated by the municipality.

The scoping report of the BRT said that the project is part of national government’s seventh Strategic Infrastructure Initiative (Sip7), which aims to integrate urban space and provide efficient public transport in 12 of the country’s biggest urban areas.

Strategic Environmental Focus has left copies of the scoping report at three libraries in the city.

The report lists, among other environmental impacts, dust, construction noise, property expropriation, loss of public open spaces and traffic delays as some of the possible negative impacts of the BRT project.

It also said that some squatters, living in the area of a proposed depot at Raisethorpe, may need to be provided with alternate accommodation. The aim is for the project to receive environmental authorisation in April 2015. Public meetings will be held on the project on July 30 at Georgetown Hall at 5.30 pm and at the Civic Hall in Raisethorpe on July 31, also at 5.30 pm.

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