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Tuesday Aug 20, 2013

Gauteng launches bold new transport plan

Gauteng unveiled a 25-year transport plan on Monday to accommodate larger numbers of people.

Transport MEC Ismail Vadi said the 'Integrated Transport Master Plan 25' (ITMP 25) proposed a radical change in spatial and transport planning.

'It's a point of departure from apartheid spatial planning, land use and mobility patterns, and ushers in an innovative way of structuring our future societal development,' he said.

Part of the plan was to prioritise the rail system as the backbone of the province's transport network.

Vadi said moving away from private cars would reduce congestion, enhance efficiency and promote sustainability.

Doing nothing would have a severe impact on the province's natural environment, its economy and the quality of life of its residents, making the province less pleasant to live in, Vadi said.

The ITMP 25 would be led by Gautrain CEO Jack van der Merwe, who would work with an inter-disciplinary team of experts.

Gauteng's projected population would rise to 18.7 million from the current 12.3 million 25 years from now.

The working population would grow to 8.6 million, making the number of passenger trips approximately 25 million per day, resulting in serious traffic congestion.

'Given the prospect of the population growing to 18.7 million and a sharp increase in the use of privately-owned cars, residents of Gauteng would live through the nightmarish scenario of unparalleled traffic gridlocks,' he said.

Another part of the plan was to move long distance freight from road to rail.

Rail-based freight logistic hubs would be developed on the periphery of core urban areas, Vadi said.

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