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Friday Oct 04, 2013

More Pretoria streets to be closed off for BRT

Two more streets will be closed from Monday because of bus rapid transit construction work, Tshwane spokesman Selby Bokaba said. The section of Paul Kruger Street between Boom and Venter streets will be closed for the construction of two A Re Yeng lanes.

The roadworks on this stretch of road will continue until March.

Workers cut down trees in Paul Kruger Street to make way for 'A Re Yeng' construction.

Bokaba said: 'During construction, two of the three existing lanes in each direction will be closed off. Motorists are advised to use Es'kia Mphahlele (DF Malan) Drive and Steve Biko (Beatrix) Street to avoid the roadworks. Motorists and pedestrians are urged to take note of the temporary road signage during the construction period.

'The public are advised to be vigilant and watch out for construction vehicles using the road.

'Once operational, the A Re Yeng system will operate in the median of Paul Kruger Street, with A Re Yeng buses running in each direction on designated trunk lanes.'

One of the schools that will be affected by the traffic is Langenhoven High School which is on Paul Kruger Street.

The head of its English department, Lucinda Pereira, said circulars had been sent to parents about the traffic disruption, but the school was worried about the matric exams beginning on October 28.

'There was an accident on Paul Kruger and some of our teachers were stuck in traffic for two hours. We have a few teachers who live in Capital Park and the rest have to commute,' Pereira said. 'Our pupils commute by public transport or are dropped off by their parents. We are going to send another circular telling parents to leave home at least two hours earlier than usual.'

The school could not move exams for the lower grades, Pereira said.

'We cannot move the exams to a later time because they have two exams a day. You need more time between the exams.'

Business has also been affected.

Peter du Toit, of the Pretoria Chamber of Commerce, said: 'The problem is not only the BRT construction. There is also the widening of the streets and the demolition of Tshwane House. Everything is being done at the same time and it is chaotic. Why did they not dig up one block, work there and finish before digging up the whole city?

'This whole thing is not economically viable because people cannot get to their workplaces or to meetings on time. Why are the traffic police not controlling traffic? It seems there is no proper plan.'

Du Toit said customers would choose to not buy in the inner city because of the congestion.

'If you make it difficult for customers to get to the city, they will go to the Menlyns of the world.

'We are concerned that we will lose revenue and clients.'

Simon Mailula, who is in charge of the pointsmen, said OUTsurance pointsmen were being trained and would be stationed around the city where BRT construction was taking place. 'Traffic Freeflow in conjunction with the Tshwane Metropolitan Police Department will be launching 10 OUTsurance mobile pointsmen and an additional 15 static pointsmen on October 18.

'This will increase the OUTsurance pointsmen team to 55 in Tshwane. An additional five mobile pointsmen will be included next year, increasing the mobile team to 60.' Yesterday afternoon, a motorist called the Pretoria News to say the traffic situation was better than on previous days on Thabo Sehume (Andries) Street as pointsmen had been deployed there to direct the flow.

Pretoria News


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