BRT lanes will affect Tshwane properties along the route
The Tshwane Metro Council has been warned that it could face legal claims "amounting to billions of rands" if it fails to consult properly with businesses in Lynnwood on Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project.
BRT bus stop being constructed in Arcadia Street in Hatfield.
This follows the submission of a petition to the municipality's petitions committee in connection with the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project parking facility in the area.
The businesses submitted the petition through their ward councillor Siobhan Muller of the Democratic Alliance and it was tabled during the committee's sitting last Friday.
The committee recommended that the strategic executive director of transport "consult with the business owners to ensure that the BRT lanes do not disturb the parking lanes at the mentioned area", a decision which did not go down well with the FF+.
According to the businesses, it became clear during the public participation meetings regarding the BRT that 50 percent of the parking for shops along Lynnwood Road - between Ox and Brooklyn roads - were set to be removed due to BRT lanes.
They requested that no parking be lost to accommodate the BRT.
"At present, the number of parking bays is insufficient for the trade generated by businesses. Loss of any parking bays will result in loss of business and income to the businesses," the petition stated.
It was further stated in the petition that the businesses have a right to trade freely and without barricading of businesses during construction of the BRT lanes and stations.
"These businesses have been in existence for more than 35 years, and supply work opportunities to many employees, thus supporting a large number of families," the petition stated.
The Freedom Front Plus (FF+) councillor Philip van Staden has warned that the affected businesses could lodge a claim against the municipality for loss of income.
"This could be a huge blow to the city's economy," he said.
Van Staden said businesses in the area were worried that there would be less parking once the BRT was fully operational.
According to Van Staden he asked the petitions committee to note the party's dissenting vote.
"Lynnwood Road does not have proper parking facilities around the University of Pretoria and to remove the existing parking facilities is going to cause great inconvenience and could lead to the businesses closing their doors," said Van Staden. The metro council is pushing ahead with the construction of its first BRT station in Arcadia.
The station is situated next to the Gautrain station in Arcadia Street.
It is expected that the first phase of the BRT will be constructed between the CBD and Hatfield (inception phase), and from Akasia to Menlyn.
BRT stations will be on Church Square (to Hatfield), University Road (to Menlyn), Boom Street (Rainbow Junction) and Rainbow Junction to Akasia, excluding Rachel de Beer Street, Pretoria North.
Construction on Line 2A (Church Square to Hatfield) is expected to start in August and will be completed in October next year, while construction work on Line 2B is expected to start in January and will be completed in February 2015.
Posted at 08:25AM Jan 31, 2013 by Editor in Pretoria |