More new cars, more grid­lock

Im­proved pub­lic trans­port is vi­tal

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - MICHAEL MOR­RIS

THE scale of Cape Town’s trans­port cri­sis is re­flected in the ris­ing tally of an­nual new ve­hi­cle reg­is­tra­tions – just over 53 000 last year, and no fewer than 6 832 over the Christ­mas/ New Year pe­riod alone.

This emerges from a state­ment by Nceba Hi­nana, chair­per­son of the Western Cape’s stand­ing com­mit­tee on trans­port and pub­lic works.

“This clearly points to why our roads con­tinue to be con­gested. The amount of traf­fic in and around Cape Town and other towns in the Prov­ince is un­bear­able as it has now reached a stage where road users have to en­dure bumperto-bumper traf­fic on fre­quently used roads, even out of peakhour pe­ri­ods,” he said.

Hi­nana noted that the num­ber of house­holds in the prov­ince were ex­pected rise from 1.9 mil­lion to an es­ti­mated 2.1 mil­lion by the end of the year, and that “the pres­sure to find and make use of al­ter­na­tive means of trans­port will be­come even more press­ing”.

He said: “The 53 148 new ve­hi­cle reg­is­tra­tions over the last year on the Western Cape’s roads stresses the need for more res­i­dents to use pub­lic trans­port, so that the con­tin­ued con­ges­tion can be pre­vented. Elec­tronic Na­tional Traf­fic In­for­ma­tion Sys­tem statis­tics in­di­cate that the num­ber of li­censed vehicles in the prov­ince in­creased from 1 877 445 at the end of Jan­uary 2016 to 1 930 597 by Jan­uary 31 this year.”

It was “be­com­ing in­creas­ingly im­por­tant” that peo­ple “use al­ter­na­tive mea­sures” to travel, in­clud­ing car-pool­ing, us­ing pub­lic trans­port such as MyCiti, Golden Arrow, and Metro­rail.

Hi­nana’s com­ments un­der­score the warn­ing at an African Union of Pub­lic Trans- port ( AUPT) con­fer­ence in the city in 2015 that Africa’s fast- grow­ing cities “will be in con­stant grid­lock within a decade un­less we suc­ceed in dou­bling the market share of pub­lic trans­port in each coun­try by 2025”.

AUPT pres­i­dent Jack van der Merwe said: “Cities that can­not make this shift will not sur­vive in fu­ture. Pub­lic trans­port is for ev­ery­one and it must be­come the pub­lic mode of choice by being ef­fi­cient and in­te­grated.”


Traf­fic is in­creas­ingly con­gested as new ve­hi­cle reg­is­tra­tions grow.


Us­ing buses helps al­le­vi­ate grid­lock.


The use of trans­port pro­vided by Metro­rail should be an al­ter­nate means of travel, with­out hav­ing to use busy roads.

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