Radley Keys, MPP
DA KZN Spokesperson on Transport
The Democratic Alliance calls on KwaZulu-Natal Transport MEC, Willies Mchunu to impose an immediate and complete ban on all heavy vehicles using Fields Hill as an alternative to the N3 toll road.
The call comes after last night’s horror crash which claimed the lives of 22 commuters and left scores critically injured. The DA extends its deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those who lost loved ones in this tragic incident.
This accident should never have happened.
The ongoing use of Field’s Hill as a route for heavy vehicles travelling to and from Durban has been a concern for many years. The DA has consistently campaigned – within the provincial legislature and at council level – for a ban on ‘heavies’ on this stretch of road.
Proposed alternatives to Fields Hill include the building of a toll road near Ashburton, so that heavy vehicles pay their toll fees further up the N3 and don’t divert down Field’s Hill in order to save on toll road fees.
Yet, aside from certain measures – such as truck stops during peak hours – the KwaZulu-Natal transport department has failed to treat the problem with the seriousness it requires.
The fact is that “heavies” should have been banned from Fields Hill a long time ago. Not only are they are proven risk to the lives of road users, they are also the cause of extensive damage to the road surface.
The DA calls on KZN Transport MEC, Willies Mchunu, to act. Apart from a full-scale investigation, we expect him to ban all ‘heavies’ from using Fields Hill.