Traffic congestion grows

2019-03-19 06:00
Traffic into the inner city causes a headache to many people. PHOTO: Gallo images

Traffic into the inner city causes a headache to many people. PHOTO: Gallo images

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Traffic in the inner city has become so congested over the years that motorists are looking for ways to make their travel experiences to their workplaces as stressless as possible. This is due to the number of cars that go into the City Centre during peak hours daily. According to data collected by the City of Cape Town last year, an approximate total of 88 200 motor vehicles transporting an estimated total of 175 000 people travel into the City between 06:00 and 09:00 every morning.

The data also shows that 86 800 motor vehicles transporting over 177 000 people leave the City in the afternoons between 15:30 and 18:30.

Mayco member for transport Felicity Purchase says that it is well documented that certain parts of the City’s road network are near capacity during peak-hour periods.

This is caused by the population growth over the past 10 years.

“Car ownership among Capetonians is also higher than before. However, the biggest impact stems from the deterioration of passenger rail over the past few years and the displacement of passengers to road-based transport,” Purchase explains.

She said the number of commuters making use of passenger rail has dropped from 620 000 passenger journeys per day in 2014 to less than 300 000 currently.

“The majority of commuters in Cape Town rely on Metrorail’s Central line to get to and from work. Commuter rail remains the backbone of public transport in Cape Town- more than half of all commuter journeys are made by train.”

Purchase said the City was working together with the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) and the provincial government to address the immediate challenges in order to ensure the efficient improvement of services.

Although the City has invested about R750m on road infrastructure projects to address the issue, Purchase said that construction of new roads only provides short-term relief and a multi-pronged approach to address traffic congestion.

“Residents and commuters also have to change their commuter patterns by either travelling together; working from home where possible and to travel to and from work outside the peak-hour periods if practical,” she explained.

To avoid sitting in traffic and getting frustrated, Purchase advised motorists to consider changing their travel behaviour to help reduce the demand for additional road space and lowering carbon emission by either relying less on private vehicles; using public transport services; or making use of carpooling where two or more passengers travel in the same direction.

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