Residents in the Far South of Cape Town are encouraged to comment on the City’s Transport Plan to improve public transport and infrastructure and alleviate congestion in the areas.

A range of interventions are included in the proposed plan, which focuses on the following areas: Fish Hoek, Clovelly, Sun Valley, Sunnydale, Masiphumelele, Ocean View, Kommetjie, Scarborough, Simon’s Town, Dido Valley, and Glencairn.

The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Felicity Purchase encourages the public to give their opinion on the proposal.

“The plan will be available on the City’s website, as well at the local subcouncil from March 1 2019. We’ll host two open days where the plan can be viewed, and officials will be present to answer questions. We want residents from the Far South in particular to read the plan, to comment and make proposals. Ultimately, this plan has been developed to address some of the biggest challenges this area faces, namely congestion and inadequate public transport,” Purchase says.

Open days will be hosted as follows: 

– March 7 2019, 4pm – 7pm at the King of Kings Baptist Church on the corner of Ou Kaapse Weg and Buller Louw Boulevard in Sun Valley

– March 8 2019, 4pm – 7pm at the Fish Hoek Civic Centre

Residents can submit their comments between March 1 to April 1 2019.

The proposal includes the following developments and improvements: 

– A scheduled bus service between popular destinations in the far south of Cape Town

– Upgrades to, and improvements of, the Southern rail line and park-and-ride facilities

– Encouraging members of the public to adopt lift clubs

– Construct missing road links

– Implementation of a travel demand strategy with flexible working hours for City officials

– Public transport interchanges in Ocean View and Fish Hoek.

A study confirmed that an estimated 63% of commuters travel from areas in the Far South to other suburbs for work and only 37% are employed in the area.

“Some residents travel far to get to work, but given the unique location of the Far South – being surrounded by the ocean and Table Mountain National Park – there are only a few routes commuters can choose from.”

A minor accident on Ou Kaapse Weg can cause congestion on the road, which is heavily relied on by commuters travelling out of the area to work.

Purchases says that improvement is required due to the lack of public transport and inadequate road network currently present.

“The Golden Arrow Bus Service provides a very limited scheduled bus service, and the Southern rail line has, over the past four years, deteriorated to such a level that only 18% of commuters from the Far South use the train service. The impact of these inefficiencies is at its worst in summer because this is a prime tourist destination with visitors flocking to the area from January to the end of April.”

Scheduled bus services 

The Golden Arrow provides a limited service between the Far South and Cape Town CBD area. A proposed plan is to roll out scheduled bus services along Chapman’s Peak Drive.

“This toll road currently carries about a third of the traffic it’s designed for, and could provide a very important alternative route between the Far South, Hout Bay and the Atlantic Seaboard.”

The proposed scheduled bus service will be:

-From Long Beach or the Sun Valley Mall along Chapman’s Peak Drive towards Hout Bay – allowing commuters to transfer on. MyCiti to the CBD.

-From Ocean View along Ou Kaapse Web to Westlake

-Between the Kommetjie and Fish Hoek train station allowing commuters to travel on the Southern line to Cape Town or the Southern Suburbs

-Between Fish Hoek and Simon’s Town

Improvements to Southern rail line 

Purchases says that improvements to the Southern rail line could alleviate road congestion and offer commuters an affordable mode of transport.

“According to our assessments there would be 2 300 fewer private vehicles on the main access routes in the peak-hour periods if the passenger numbers could be doubled on this line. This highlights the importance of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s refurbishment programme and our investment in the Rail Enforcement Unit which is focusing on the safety and security of commuters and the rail infrastructure.”

This plan includes upgrading the park-and-ride facility at the Fish Hoek station offering commuters a safe and secure parking area.

Improve road networks for all road users 

Kommetjie has been identified as an area for immediate intervention to address traffic congestion. The project began in 2017 and is expected to be completed at the end of this year, with an overall budget of 194-million spent on upgrading portions of Ou Kaapse Weg, Kommetjie and main roads.

By improving the road and pedestrian infrastructure, Purchase hopes that it will encourage residents to use alternative modes such as cycling. The City plans to extend Houmoed Avenue to reduce congestion.

“One example is the proposal to extend Houmoed Avenue from the intersection with Buller Louw Boulevard to Lekkerwater Road in Sunnydale. We’re awaiting the environmental authorisation from the Western Cape Government and the National Department of Water and Sanitation for this road link which will take a lot of pressure off Kommetjie Road if we’re allowed to go ahead.”

 

Picture: The City of Cape Town

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