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Monday Jan 06, 2014

Traffic snarl-ups in store for Pretoria motorists

Pretoria Motorists should brace themselves for huge traffic jams in the city centre following the holiday season.

The Tshwane Metro council has started off the week by digging holes in Thabo Sehume Street in the city centre.

Trenches that had been dug up for the construction of the A Re Yeng Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) were quickly covered last month following Nelson Mandela's death. A cortege carrying Madiba's body passed through the city daily from 1 Military Hospital in Thaba Tshwane to the Union Buildings, resulting in road construction being suspended.

Then came the annual shutdown, but this weekend brought signs of some road cable work being done in the city centre and today sees the start of work along the BRT inception line from Relly Street to University Road.

The city says the main construction - which led to massive delays in the city centre - would resume on January 13, the same week that schools reopen in the city. The construction work being done includes that on the BRT's 1A line from Boom Street to Rainbow Junction, and 2A line along Nana Sita, between Bosman and Kotze streets.

City spokesman Selby Bokaba said the construction sites had been secured and trenches that might have posed a danger, closed.

Tshwane Metro Police Department spokesman Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba said an attempt would be made to minimise traffic disruptions by deploying officers to the worst-affected parts of the city.

The first phase of the A Re Yeng system is the central business district-to-Hatfield route, where operations are scheduled to begin in April.

The route will then extend from Kopanong along the Rainbow Junction to the CBD.

The second route will go from Denneboom in Mamelodi through the key nodes Menlyn, Hatfield, Lynnwood and Sunnyside to the CBD.

A Re Yeng is part of Tshwane Vision 2055 and aimed at providing an efficient public transport system for the city. Phase one will be opened in April and the system is expected to be fully operational in 2016 or 2017. A Re Yeng trunk services will run every three to five minutes at peak time, with feeder services running at 15-minute intervals.

Stations will be located in the middle of the road (between driving lanes), eliminating the need for bus stops on either side of the road.

The City of Tshwane is confident that A Re Yeng will eventually cut commuting times and reduce the number of cars on the roads. It will feed into other transport systems, including the Gautrain.

Pretoria News


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