‘I­nap­pro­pri­a­te’ re­stricti­on signs va­nish

George Herald - - NEWS - A­li­da de Beer

Two weig­ht re­stricti­on traf­fic sign bo­ards at both ends of the his­to­ric Se­ven Pas­ses ro­ad be­t­ween Saas­veld and Wil­der­ness Heig­hts di­sap­pea­red o­ver­nig­ht last week, af­ter the Ge­or­ge He­rald be­gan ma­king en­qui­ries to the De­part­ment of Trans­port and Pu­blic Works a­bout their pre­sen­ce.

The bo­ards in­di­ca­ted that access was al­lo­wed for lig­ht vehi­cles on­ly, and that a weig­ht re­stricti­on of 2 tons ap­p­lied. Ho­we­ver, ac­cor­ding to the de­part­men­tal spo­kes­per­son By­ron la Hoe, the re­stricti­on was not en­for­ce­a­ble and we­re of "in­for­ma­ti­ve / gui­dan­ce na­tu­re" on­ly.

T­his fact ir­ked a re­gu­lar mo­to­rist on the rou­te, John M­cIldo­wie, who sent a pho­to­graph to the news­pa­per in 2014 of lar­ge trucks that we­re stuck on a sharp bend in the ro­ad. At the ti­me, a si­mi­lar weig­ht re­stricti­on sign was up at the Ge­or­ge si­de of the pass and w­hen the news­pa­per que­ried t­his, the aut­ho­ri­ties' com­ment was that they could not pro­se­cu­te as the signs we­re not le­gal traf­fic signs.

M­cIldo­wie says, "We ha­ve now go­ne through a y­e­ar of ro­ad clo­su­re whi­le t­his secti­on of the ro­ad was up­gra­ded and re­sur­fa­ced. Su­re­ly so­meo­ne would ha­ve thoug­ht to get le­gal traf­fic signs in­stal­led, but ap­pa­rent­ly not."

La Hoe re­sponds, "Due to the his­to­ri­cal and sce­nic im­por­tan­ce of the rou­te, he­a­vy vehi­cles are dis­coura­ged from u­sing the rou­te, alt­hough they are not ac­tu­al­ly pro­hi­bi­ted. The ro­ad has been u­sed as an al­ter­na­ti­ve rou­te on a num­ber of oc­ca­si­ons w­hen it has been ne­ces­sa­ry to c­lo­se the N2 be­t­ween Ge­or­ge and Wil­der­ness, and con­ti­nues to form part of the stra­te­gic ro­ad net­work."

The signs had not been of­fi­ci­al­ly ap­pro­ved.

"No stu­dy has been do­ne to de­ter­mi­ne vehi­cle re­stricti­ons. I ha­ve just been ad­vi­sed that the con­sul­tant is pre­sent­ly as­ses­sing the ge­o­me­tri­cs of the ro­ad to de­ter­mi­ne w­het­her the­re should be any length li­mits for vehi­cles ma­king use of the rou­te. T­his stu­dy should be com­ple­ted soon, at which sta­ge a de­ci­si­on will be ma­de w­het­her to re­strict the ro­ad in terms of length through re­gu­la­to­ry sig­na­ge or not."

La Hoe says that the con­trac­tor had been in­structed to re­mo­ve the o­ri­gi­nal sign (that was up be­fo­re the ro­ad works) and was a­wai­ting in­structi­on from the de­part­ment as to w­het­her the new signs should be re­mo­ved.

"W­hoe­ver e­rected the u­naut­ho­ri­sed whi­te signs, may ha­ve ta­ken no­te of the com­mo­ti­on and qui­et­ly re­mo­ved their signs as well."

No stu­dy has been do­ne to de­ter­mi­ne vehi­cle re­stricti­ons.

T­his weig­ht re­stricti­on sign va­nis­hed o­ver­nig­ht last week. INSET: T­his was the old weig­ht re­stricti­on sign. Neither the y­el­low sign nor the whi­te signs we­re en­for­ce­a­ble.

John M­cIldo­wie sent in t­his p­ho­to in 2014 of lar­ge trucks stuck in the Se­ven Pas­ses pass be­t­ween Saas­veld and Wil­der­ness Heig­hts.

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