By Justus de Goede, DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Transportation:
The decision by the City of Tshwane (CoT) to reduce lanes along Lynnwood and Atterbury Roads to single lanes to accommodate its bus rapid transit system is short sighted and will have a major impact on commuters to and from the Tshwane CBD.
The CoT has indicted that escalating costs are the driving factor behind the decision, however, the DA is of the opinion that poor planning and a lack of adequate consultation is to blame.
Studies produced by independent traffic engineers have warned of catastrophic consequences which are likely to cripple two key routes to and from schools, the University of Pretoria as well as Gautrain services.
Thousands of residents have voiced their disapproval by signing a DA petition which has been submitted to the Gauteng Provincial Legislature’s Petitions Committee.
In response to the public outcry, Tshwane Mayor, Kgosientso Ramokgopa threatened motorists by stating they would be “forced on to the busses”.
The DA will not condone the misuse of public funds on an unfeasible, and ultimately untenable project.
Threats by the Tshwane Mayor will also not go unchallenged. Residents have the right to choose how they commute, regardless of the Mayor’s ideological bent.
If the city does not come up with a more workable solution, years of traffic jams and billions in lost productivity for the nation’s capital lie ahead.
Surely the lessons learnt from the recent prepaid meter debacle should give the city’s management pause to question the error of its ways.